— Thinking About A Geoscience Career?

February 1st, 2016
by Eric Grosfils

As students look at colleges, or when they first decide to take an introductory geology course, one of the questions my colleagues and I are often asked is what happens after college if they major in geology. What do students do after graduation? Is their experience likely to be rewarding and enriching? How easily do they get into graduate school? Will what they learn help prepare them to succeed at their first job? What are their employment prospects, and what kind of life can they expect?

These are great questions and, although everyone’s circumstances will be unique, we have lots of answers. Their love of science — field work, laboratory analysis, numerical modeling, etc. — in combination with the strong connection between geoscience knowledge and the challenges our world faces, is what lures many students into a geology major here at Pomona. As a result, not surprisingly, our graduates go all kinds of directions as they strive to apply or build upon what they have learned. They go into business, education, medicine, and law; into geotechnical and environmental firms; they work for all levels of government and in their communities; and, of course, most who wish to do so transition very successfully to strong graduate programs. Students can certainly pursue avenues with high salary potential, and/or opt for lots of time outdoors, and/or they can walk paths with other benefits for themselves and those around them… opportunities abound. It is exciting is to see how each graduate brings their own strengths and interests together, how they choose to move forward — and no matter where they go our students continually amaze us and make us proud.

There are a great many resources available online describing the benefits of a geoscience career, and I have shared a few examples below in no particular order. If you spot something else you’d like to suggest I add, don’t hesitate to let me know (egrosfils at pomona dot edu). In the meantime, come and take a geology class with us! Your life may never be quite the same thereafter…

  • Geology students tend to be a happy bunch:


  • Geoscientist shortfall of 135,000 predicted by 2020 — your job awaits:


  • $100k starting salaries possible, plus pros and cons of a geoscience career independent of salary:


  • Industries hiring recent graduates:


  • 2015 Exit Surveys — what students did, what they are up to next:


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