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What is Geology Really?

By Geologist

In theory what is it?

Geology is the study of the earth and the processes that have and are continually forming and changing our planet. There are many areas of geology that address the different methods of studying the earth including Hydrogeology, Geochemistry, Petroleum Geology, Environmental Geology, Geophysics, Geomorphology and many more.

What is it used for?

Most geologists either work in the energy industry (oil and gas), environmental industry (water resources), or geophysics (seismic studies). Geologists play a vital role in equipping our worlds industries with the proper information to provide and protect our precious resources.

What does the major actually entail - work-wise?

Most geology programs encourage field experience in all classes and at minimum an on campus lab for every class. Most students are required to complete a field camp, which usually occurs over a summer and is an extended field trip replacing hours in the classroom in which you learn many field methods that supplement the classroom learning. So, lots of time outside!

What kind of jobs do you get with it?

Many jobs are available with the oil and gas industry for oil exploration, the only downside is that unless you live near one of the few oil and gas hotspots in the country you will likely have to relocate. There are also many government and private sector jobs available for more environmental/ground water work throughout the country. Opportunities to work for seismic survey companies are also out there in specific areas (California mostly). Teaching jobs are also always out there if you're willing to get a PhD.

What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?

Geology students are a big mixture of people from all backgrounds. But for the most part the geology students are open minded, fun people that enjoy the outdoors and are interested about our earth.

Common Misconceptions

We just look at rocks all day. Although we do look at rocks in little baggies and boxes in intro geology classes, geology entails so much more.
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Geography and Geosciences Major unemployment rate

_Geography and GeosciencesAll Majors
Unemployed%6%7
Minimum Wage%4%4
All Others%89%88
More: Unemployment for all Majors *** not counting stay at home parents *** not counting those currently in grad school

Are things going well in Geography and Geosciences?

Going Well %87
Not Going Well %13
More: All Majors Satisfaction ??? This is a social "life satisfaction" question. Overall, would people who graduated with a degree in Geography and Geosciences say that their life is going well? It could be interpreted in terms of stress, salary, long hours, future prospects, etc. *** not counting those currently in grad school

Graduates who stayed in Geography and Geosciences

Still in Field %70
Got out %30
More: All Majors Still in field ??? A high "got out" percentage can be interpreted a couple of ways -- for instance, perhaps the major is a great stepping stone to becoming a totally different career -- like a doctor. Or perhaps the jobs one gets with the major just aren't that great. *** not counting those currently in grad school
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Geography was a lousy major with no jobsGeography was a lousy major with no jobs available upon graduation (even though I graduated with 3.8). I received no help from the placement office. The professors were a joke. Stay away from geography asRead reviewGeography and GeosciNorthwest Missouri State University Reviews
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Sonoma State was great.Sonoma State was great. I wish that I could go back. If I could do it again, I would have spent a semester exchange at another school on the east coast. Otherwise, I loved theRead reviewGeography and GeosciSonoma State University Reviews
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Undergrad prepared me for a career in GIS.Undergrad prepared me for a career in GIS. Graduate school prepared me for a career in Geography. Computer programming was an essential skill to learn for GIS. While GIS appears extremely important to a career,Read reviewGeography and GeosciThe University of Iowa Reviews
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