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Industry of the future
The topics that will become more relevant for geoscientists in the next decades are diverse and challenging at the same time. Due to the change to a sustainable energy policy, completely new topics and questions arise, such as the final disposal of nuclear waste or CO2 storage. Other important topics are energy storage, battery technology and the associated lithium extraction.
Greener and more digital
The European Union's "Green Deal" makes it clear just how important the topics of "soil and water" are currently becoming. However, raw materials, water, infrastructure and environmental protection now have great national importance in almost all countries. Environmental protection and the sustainable use of raw materials require a rethinking in many classic geoscientific professional fields. In the step towards a climate-neutral society, geosciences play a key role in the human-environment relationship.
Modern information technology is now greatly changing the work of geoscientists. Increasingly powerful databases relieve them of stereotypical routine activities. The production of relevant soil maps and modeling is also becoming easier. Nevertheless, geoinformatics remains a tool of the trade. The demands on the evaluation of data and thus on the technical expertise of each individual geoscientist are constantly growing. Incidentally, this is a competence that can only be automated to a limited extent.
Industry in transition
Germany, like many other countries, is working intensively in the field of renewable energies because the German government's climate policy envisages a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels over the next 20-30 years. Therefore, jobs, especially in the oil and coal industry, will decrease in the mentioned period if everything works out as politically planned in Germany.
This energy transition will challenge the new generation of oil/coal geoscientists worldwide. Qualified in these topics, but open-minded enough to reorient themselves - if necessary - in other areas of (sustainable) energy and resource procurement. The remaining question for students interested in the traditional fields of the oil and coal industry is how long this transformation will take and when and how quickly the associated job losses will follow in which part of the world. Depending on technological developments, this could happen within a generation of work, or it could take much longer.