Computer skills are essential for prospective geoscientists and hydrologists; students who have experience with computer modeling, data analysis and integration, digital mapping, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be the most prepared entering the job market. Knowledge of the Global Positioning System (GPS) ? a locator system that uses satellites ? has also become essential. Some employers seek applicants with field experience, so a summer internship is often helpful.
Because geoscientists and hydrologists usually work as part of a team with other geoscientists and with environmental scientists, engineers and technicians, they must have good interpersonal skills. Strong oral and written communication skills also are important because writing technical reports and research proposals and explaining research results in person are important aspects of the work. Some jobs, particularly for petroleum geologists, require foreign travel, and for these positions knowledge of a second language is beneficial.
These workers must be inquisitive, able to think logically and capable of complex analytical thinking, including spatial visualization and the ability to infer conclusions from sparse data. Geoscientists and hydrologists involved in fieldwork must have physical stamina.