As a second year Geology Undergraduate I am in the middle of my journey towards becoming a professional in the field of Geoscience. One of the things a student in geology compared to a student in another scientific field would notice is that after elementary geology classes, the Geoscience spread in to a wide range of different academic disciplines. Geology program covers, material science, engineering/physics, chemistry, actuarial science and even art. Other than engineering, the geological applications of these subjects are the most practical use of these fields. For example, geochemistry has more practical real world applications than general chemistry or there are more jobs for geophysics majors than physics majors.
Unless a student is planing to do graduate work or planing to join the government organizations like statistics or military services, most companies will look for employees who are specialized in practical applications of science. The reason behind this is that in a capitalistic economy, companies benefits by hiring people who are capable to contributing to on going projects in the community. Geoscience it an unique program where students are pushed to their limits to specialized in all sciences. Sometimes a geoscientists will take the basic fundamentals to next level. In geochemistry for example a student can specialized in chemical analysis part of geology. There a lot of companies from oil and gas, mineral exploration to governments are looking for geologist who are specialized in geochemistry. However, the demand for a specialized field can change with economic changes in a country. Compared to a person who take a general chemistry degree, it is always beneficial to pick geochemistry because even if there is a bad market for the specific field, this type of professional can always work in general geological field.
No one in geology program can graduate without doing field work. This is an asset because in hard economic times, a geology graduate is more prepared for new ventures compared to a biology, chemistry or physics graduate. If a person can’t find a job in the specialized area, they can always have opportunities in real data collection. Around the world there is a shortage of workers who are educated enough to collect geological data regardless of the economic conditions. For example, India and Sri Lanka with their growing population of educated individuals still have trouble finding well trained geologists for field work.
The lesson of this story is that in the core of geoscience provide a lot of opportunities for success compared to many other programs offered at universities across the country.