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Careers: Geology/Choosing best geology university in Australia


QUESTION: Sir, i want your guidance on choosing best university for MS Geology in Australia. I want to study in university which will prepare me for mining industry and oil/gas industry especially. Also guide me for opting any other degree which will help in getting job in both of these industries. I will be international student in Australia and have done my BS Geology.

ANSWER: Haider:

Sadly, trying to do two things at the same time usually results in not doing either one very well.

You need to do the following.

Research whether you want to do mining, or oil and gas.  There are more jobs in oil and gas, and higher pay.  

Mining has somewhat limited opportunities, BUT Australia is the place to study it since some of the most active companies are Australian or Canadian.

Now, do not approach your MS studies like you do your BS studies. You need to KNOW what subjects and what areas of expertise interest you the most since you will have to do a thesis, OR some sort of research on a topic of your own choosing.

You need to do that NOW before you start, since what usually happens is a graduate student will end up in a program not knowing what he wants to study and end up going into something that is "available" with no knowledge of whether it will result in a job when he is finished or not.

Next compare what you think you want to do, with what the professors specialize in.  If you do not see a match, chances are you are at the wrong school.  What will happen is you will end up doing your work on something the professor is interested in and not you.  I have seen this before and it actually happened to me.

What you end up being is a grunt, a drone worker for your professor, and NOT studying what you want to do, and YOU have to pay for it.  I know just getting accepted into grad school is an accomplishment, but you need to try and find a match between the professor's expertise and what you are interested in.  They cannot teach you what they do not know, right?

Do some research whether on mining or oil and gas to see what is "hot" with regard to technology, techniques, and areas.  For instance the last few years horizontal/directional drilling, fracking. Logging while drilling (LWD) and oil shales were "hot". I am not sure what is hot now with the downturn.  

One way of finding out is to look at the job openings.  Right now jobs are scarce, but those listed will show you what is currently in demand, and will likely continue to be in the next few years.

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QUESTION: Thanks alot for previous guidance Sir. Now please can you guide me the best possible university for petroleum geo-science in Australia. I am sharing course titles of two different universities for this purpose. Kindly guide me that which courses combination is best from petroleum industry's point of view.

Curtin University:
1.Formation Evaluation
2.Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering
3.Geo-science Professional Practice
4.Applied Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
5.Seismic Interpretation
6.Applied Structural Geology
7.Petroleum Systems
8.Borehole Geophysics
9.Geology Masters Project

University of western Australia:
1.Geographic Information Systems Applications
2.Australia's Geological Evolution
3.Mineralising Systems
4.Petroleum Systems
5.Structural Geology for Exploration
6.Masters Research Project in Geoscience
7.Basin Analysis Techniques
8.Structural Analysis for Petroleum Geoscience
9.Sedimentary Basin Field Excursion
10.Exploration Targeting
11.Geophysical Data Acquisition and Analysis
12.Analytical Techniques for the Geoscience

I would go with the first. Numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 would be particularly applicable.

One the second list, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10.  To my mind this list looks like it is geared more towards mining.

One thing you should do is contact the admissions or alumni office and see if they can give you the percentage of graduates that got jobs in the industry when they graduated from Graduate School.  As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.  See if they can give you that info. Or if they cannot, contact the president of the geology club, if they have one, and ask them. Graduates tend to stay in contact. They might even have a Facebook page or group to stay in touch, or try Linked In, and see if the schools have a group on that social media social site.

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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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