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Careers: Geology/geology vs. geophysics


Hello, this is my first time using this site so sorry if I do anything weird, wrong, or stupid, but I would really like some advice. I've loved geology and studying about the earth since I was four and have wanted to make that my career and life since I read my first earth science book. But then I had to do a report for school on what career I wanted when I grew up. When doing research, I learned about geophysics, and what it was about. The thing now is that I don't know which one I should magor in and get my degree in. What I really want to do is explore the inside of the earth, not just examine soil samples or find pockets of oil. I want to know what's at the heart of the Earth and what makes up the rest of it and what structure it has and how it all came to be. So I want to know which career path I should take, Geology or Geophysics? With which one am I gonna get to learn and do what I want? All input wanted and accepted, so feel free to let it rip.


Seismology and Solid Earth Geophysics is what you are describing.  If you go down that route be forewarned, lots of math, and a PhD is a must.  Since most of the work is theoretical and done in academia.  so that means you will be teaching or working for the USGS since no one else will pay for the study of that kind of stuff.  

The parallel path in geology will also require a PhD but in petrology, ingneous petrology to be specific where the study the mineralogy of xenoliths from deep in the crust and mantle that are transported though eruptions to the surface where they can be studied to determine the petrology of deep crustal and mantle materials.   

There is work in examining samples from deep in the roots of old mountain ranges to determine the conditions deep in the crust at the time of their formation.

Remember that corporations only pay people who make them money.  Research for research sake is only don in universities or by government agencies.

So plan on being a college professor.

Careers: Geology

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Keith Patton


Career and educational options open for fledgling geoscience students. What courses you should take to prepare for the current job market.


24 years experience in Petroleum, Environmental Consulting and geological and geophysical computer software development.


Registered Geologist in Texas
Certified mapping scientitst in RS

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