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Careers: Geology/Msc in petroleum engineering after geology


QUESTION: Hello sir ,I am from Lebanon and  since petroleum engineering is not available in my country I registered in geology major in my university and my adviser told me that geology with minor in computer science would be perfect is that right !?
I am planning after I finish my Bs in geology to complete my Msc in petroleum engineering in Europe or foreign country is this possible ?what are some universities that contain such program for geologists? and if not what should I do in my graduate studies if i wish to work in petroleum industry or to make enough money ?
Thanks in advance

ANSWER: Asaad:

A BS in geology will not get you much.  You need a MS to make yourself marketable.  Else you will be stuck doing mudlogging or geotech work.  Most major companies require a MS.

With regard to the MS in petroleum engineering.  You may be looking at a lot of remedial undergraduate classes.

You need to look at what kind of classes your typical PE undergraduate degree requires.

Go here and click on Undgraduate courses flow chart on the third line.

This will give you an idea of how different the course of study is from a geology degree.  THEY ARE NOT AT ALL THE SAME.  In order to get admitted into a PE graduate class you will need to pass the graduate exam in Petroleum Engineering.  You will probably have to take a lot more courses in order to qualify, maybe a full year or more.  

Computer science would be nice, but probably a lot more math too.

You don't really need computer science, but you do need to know how to use geology and geophyscial software.  That is almost a requirement now days.  Either Petrel, Landmark or Kingdom.  Truth is, with a BS in geology, you don't know enough to be of much use in exploration and will end up being a technician.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thnx sir , but I have more two questions if u please.
If not Petroleum Engineering at graduate level then what do u suggest me to go into as a Masters degree that would guarantee a good life in the future where I live in the (middle east)?

And yes I am planning to take about 4 math courses I took calculus 3 and discrete mathematics and I ended both with (B) and I planning to take differential equations and numerical computing as a math courses and this all is  in addition to a minor in computer science ,so would that all help me to get more opportunities than other colleagues greatly?

I really appreciate your help in answering my questions and hope you answer the above two questions :)


If you are willing to take the remedial classes you will probably need, then by all means go into PE.  It pays more than geology.  Of the three career paths, Geology, geophysics and Petroleum Engineering, PE pays the most.  They bet higher pay with a BS than the other two get with an MS.

A thing to consider is that in the future, as petroleum reserves in the middle east decline, it will be the engineers job to find ways to maximize production.  This will mean ample employment for engineers and reservoir geologists who will be working on finding more reserves in mature fields by doing detailed mapping and analyzing production records trying to identify heretofore unidentified and unproduced areas within the huge older fields.

Computer reservoir modeling and reservoir simulation are important tools so make sure you take classes in those areas as well as learn how to use the leading software such as Petrel.

Yes, your math background will impress any engineering department entrance committee.  If you know which schools you are considering, contact them and provide one of the advisers in the department with a list of classes you will have completed on graduation and ask them what other classes you would need to gain acceptance into their program.

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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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