Is a geology degree worth it? This may have been a question you’ve posed to yourself because you were thinking about obtaining a geology degree or perhaps, you’re a curious person who wants to know what type of work is done and the kind of jobs you can secure with a geology degree.
A geologist studies gaseous matter, solids and liquids that encompasses planets especially our very own planet earth. Although geology is the concentration, people that hold this type of degree have strong backgrounds in chemistry, biology, and other sciences. There are several jobs you can get with a BS or MS degree in geology and be very well compensated.
In this post, you will learn all the basic information regarding this degree to help you determine if it is worth it or not.
5 Disadvantages of a Degree in Geology
- Inexact Science
Geology is an inexact science and unlike where there’s a definite solution to the problem, you will rarely have this luxury as a geologist. This field is harder to prove a theory as in other sciences due to the fact that you’re dealing with several events that happened millions of years ago so there is no concrete evidence. Many people with a scientific mind have a hard time dealing with an inexact science like geology. As a geologist you have to interpret data in several different ways and determine possible solutions for the most likely scenarios.
- Bad Work Conditions
Obtaining a degree in geology is a field that can be very challenging and you need to be prepared to work very hard and your days will be long. You will need to endure all types of weather including rain, extreme temperatures of hot and cold, as well as horrible thunderstorms. If you are not a person who enjoys critters this is definitely not the field for you. You will encounter all types of little bugs like spiders, snakes, scorpions and ants just to name a few.
- Very Stressful
Being a geologist can be a very stressful career. You may have a position where part of your job description is to literally stand next to a volcano that could erupt at any time. While some may find this exciting others will find it very stressful. This is only one of many examples that can put you at risk as a geologist and cause you to be under a great deal of stress. You risk your life in many situations so you may want to think about obtaining this type of degree.
- Physically Challenging
If you acquire a degree as a geologist you must go where rocks can be found. Even a person in good shape can grow weary as most of these locations are inaccessible by foot. You need to have a lot of stamina in order to hike, carry equipment and samples while traveling to and through this rock. Some of the specimens you will study while you are out in the field and others will be carried back to study at a later date.
- Remote Travel
Most of the places where you travel as a geologist are very remote. This can be extremely dangerous. Your location is often far from civilization and if an accident occurs it could take a while for someone to get to you. As an engineering geologist you may need to explore sites for proposed highways or dams. A petroleum geologist has to locate gas and oil deposits plus be able to conduct explorations in remote places. Searching for certain rocks that reveal information from the past can be way out on a mountain edge.
Here are 8 Advantages of a Degree in Geology
- High Demand
A geology degree is not only worth it but it is in high demand. Currently, the projection of the number of new geology graduates does not meet the expected need and the long-term job outlook is very positive for geologists. The demand continues to increase especially for those with a high level of knowledge and skills. The job market can always use the skills held by a geologists and there are a wide range of positions that needs to be filled. If you would like to concentrate in a particular area or increase some of your skills you may want to get involved in waste management or city planning, water resources or environmental work.
- Career Opportunities
Your career opportunities can be limitless with a degree in geology whether you want to work in government, academics not profit or corporate. Perhaps you already know what your niche is and you concentrated on a particular area while you were in college. You can become an educator and teach science at a high school if you can manage teenagers. If your desire is to become an engineer then you may be well suited for positions like a civil, sustainability or petroleum engineer. You may be able to use our degree for a career in archaeology. If you like to manage then try quarry management positions. The government has various programs and position that you may enjoy. Ever since the “go green” campaign began to save the earth the opportunities to work for a non-profit agency have increased. You don’t have to specialize or have a specific concentration because being a geologist in general affords you great opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2020 mean salary for a geologist was $112,110 per year.
- Locate Natural Resources
A geologist can spend a lot of time predicting behaviors of the universe and the earth’s systems in order to locate sufficient supplies of natural resources needed for our day to day living. Some of these include petroleum, minerals, natural gas and metals but ground water may be considered the most important.
- Conservation of Soil
Geologists play a very important role in helping with the conservation of soil. They make determinations on which landfills and nuclear power plants are geologically safe to help prevent contamination of soil as well as groundwater. These are the people that will develop plans to monitor soil and water. They often decide where to put the mining waste.
- Safeguard Environment
A person that has a degree angiology may also be a geoscientist. Geoscientists not only studies the planet and learns information to conserve what we have, they also predict what will happen in the future. They can also predict geological disasters by performing environmental, studying global environmental systems and various things like floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides.
- Saves Us From Natural Disasters
We are experiencing the loss of lives, property, supplies and a weakened economy when we have natural disasters such as tsunamis, droughts, wildfires, sinkholes, tornadoes and hurricanes that are caused by climate change. In some cases, one natural disaster causes another such as when we have an earthquake and then next thing you know, there’s a landslide shortly after. A geologist can identify areas prone to hazards by using satellites, stream gauges, seismic monitoring, geologic mapping and other tools to study links between the earth processes and natural hazards. The data they collect helps them to assess disasters in order to forecast and warn the community about what’s coming. In other words, a geologist helps us to be prepared by taking technical data and changing it to actionable information.
- Preserve Energy Sources
The sun, earth and its atmosphere provide all of the energy we use. Some of the resources that we use for energy like tidal, biomass, hydropower, solar and wind are harnessed at the earth’s surface while others like gas, oil, coal and uranium are extracted by mining. Geoscientist play a critical part when it comes to evaluating the environmental impacts of energy and the resources. They study about coal which is the largest source of generating electricity worldwide. Petroleum and natural gas are the largest sources of energy in the United States. Can you see where I’m going with this? If we do not have enough people obtaining degrees in geology, life as we know it will be gone. Most of us use energy and so many ways and never give it a thought however a geologist is the reason we are so comfortable in our homes and our lives.
- Personal Satisfaction
Geology is a field where you learn about the history of the earth as well as predict the future based on that history. If you are a person that is fascinated or somewhat obsessed with the transformation of the earth’s soil, water or energy then this degree and field will brighten your day. You can secure a job that allows you to spend a lot of time outside gathering data. Not everyone was made to sit at a desk all day! Many people that are activist for our earth’s preservation and reducing the amount of resources we waste. Getting a degree in geology can help you gain more knowledge to find solutions to your environmental concerns.
Thank you for reading to the end. We welcome your comments.