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A Simplified Competency Framework for Career Development of Earth Science Subject Matter Experts


The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a significant shift as we adapt to rapidly changing business conditions, significant technology advances, and the long-predicted “Great Crew Change”. Career development is more important than ever, especially for technical subject matter experts (SME's). As an alternative to highly detailed competency models, which may not be relevant to SME's, and can quickly become out of date, we have developed a simplified and adaptable competency framework for the development of technical experts in the Earth Sciences. We map competency development in five dimensions: Earth Science foundation, technical depth, technology breadth & integration, technical leadership, and business & project management acumen. We have mapped typical career progressions for each of these five dimensions against four career stages in a variety of Earth Science technical specialties that are critical to an integrated oil company. Our competency framework provides a practical roadmap and template for competency assessment, career development conversations, short and long-term career action planning, strategic staffing, leadership development and succession planning. While developed for specifically for Earth Science SME's, the competency framework is flexible and can easily be adapted to Earth Science generalists and other petrotech disciplines for career development of an agile technical workforce.