So, you’ve decided you’d like to consider getting a degree in Geosciences?
You’re in good company – there are many people who are working in this field.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be a five percent increase in the employment of geoscientists between 2021 and 2031.
Find out more about how to enter this field.
What Will I Learn in a Geosciences Program?
When you enter into a geosciences program at a college or university, there’s typically a set curriculum of courses that you must take.
This can include classes in spatial awareness, principles of physics, principles of geology, structural geology, petrology, mineralogy, chemistry, geoscientific research methods, and statistics about geology.
Of course, your program is going to be heavy on science and math, but you likely are going to have to take some humanities courses that are part of every Bachelor’s program such as English composition, history, and an art course.
Typically, a Bachelor’s degree requires that you complete 120 credits which can be a combination of lecture, lab, and seminar courses.
For the most part, you’ll have to take 100-level courses before you can take any of the advanced-level ones.
You will learn about physical processes shaping the planet and sustaining humanity.
The broad focus categories are earth and water.
Your courses will help you analyze cycles of energy, as well as the natural materials that make up the earth -rocks, minerals, sediments, and water.
You’ll have a combination of classes where you listen to a professor speak about basic and more complex topics in geosciences, as well as take part in field-based learning.
This can take the form of an internship for an agency or a company where you’ll take on an observational role at first, and then get some practice with research, preparing materials, and otherwise gaining experience to get you one step closer to determining what you’ll do for your career.
How to Choose a Good Program
It’s important that you find a geoscience Bachelor’s program that is completely accredited.
This means that the program upholds strict academic standards that align with local and national educational associations.
If you decide you’d like to attend an online school, it’s especially crucial that you ensure that the program is legitimate and that you’ll have a truly useful degree after you complete your courses.
A solid program in geosciences will teach you how to use analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Your instructors will show you how to evaluate statistical data regarding this field. Not only will you need strong communication skills in order to discuss matters with your colleagues and give them reports, but you’ll also need to know how to explain your findings and share various relevant information with professionals in other fields such as technicians and engineers.
You can spend a great deal of time looking at the pros and cons of different schools.
If it’s possible, set up tours of some of the schools on your list.
While you’re there, be sure to ask your tour guide, head of the department, and anyone else who is available from the program plenty of questions.
This will help you sort out what each of these colleges offers and make your decision with more peace of mind than you would have otherwise.
You don’t want to start at a school only to figure out that you’re uncomfortable there or that it isn’t the right fit in some other way.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Bachelor’s in Geosciences?
The average Bachelor’s program, including those in geosciences, will be 120 credit hours.
The amount of time it takes to finish such a program will depend on your chosen track.
If you’re attending classes on a part-time basis, it may take you around five or six years to get your degree.
If you’re attending on a full-time basis, it shouldn’t take you more than four years to complete everything for your degree.
By the time you reach your last year in the program, you should only be in courses for your area of study and probably some type of internship or other field study experience.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Bachelor’s in Geosciences?
The amount it costs to get a Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences varies based on several factors.
A student who attends part-time may end up paying more in the long run.
If you live on campus, you’ll have not only tuition and the cost of textbooks and supplies, but you’ll have the added cost of room and board at the college.
This can easily add up to $100,000+ over four to five years.
Another aspect to consider is that some schools will offer you a discounted rate if you live in the state where the school is located.
This can end up saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars overall.
Even though it may seem like an astronomical amount for the entire Bachelor’s program in Geosciences, you should remember that you may be eligible to receive financial aid.
You can contact your school’s financial aid office or talk to a counselor at your high school to determine if you can get a financial aid award.
Many of the financial aid packages need to be paid back, though there are scholarships and other types of awards that you can earn or be given for different reasons that will knock down the cost of your tuition.
What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Geosciences?
Getting a Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences will prepare you for a number of different careers.
There are some that you may not even realize fall under this category.
The following list is just the start – there are many others and it’s a good idea to explore your options before you settle on the path that you plan to take.
- Data Scientist
- Environmental Geologist
- Restoration Practitioner
- Laboratory Manager
- Geotechnical Engineer
- Mining Engineer
- Research Scientist
- Natural Resource Technician
- Environmental Health and Safety Officer
- Professor or Assistant Professor
When you have this degree, you can work in research, field study, engineering, education, and much more.
Geoscientists tend to take on some common duties across their different career areas.
This includes analyzing samples, designing and conducting experiments, writing articles and reports that are featured in publications for the industry, presenting findings to colleagues, creating maps and charts, and coming up with predictions regarding future geological and physical processes.
Should I Get a Bachelor’s in Geosciences?
Many people are well-suited to working in the career fields that fall under the heading of Geosciences.
It’s an incredibly rewarding career field that gives you plenty of room for advancement and opportunities throughout the United States.
Even if you know that you can likely finish your studies and earn top grades, you’ll still want to spend some time researching and thinking about if this is the right path for your education.
Your choice of major and degree field is something to take seriously.
Geosciences is a good area of study for people who are analytical, detail-oriented, and enjoy learning about the earth and its various cycles and processes.
If you have a curiosity and passion for learning about natural resources, how forces of nature work, and how the earth changes over time, you’re sure to find the study and work fascinating.
You will need to think carefully about how you’d like to advance in your career and if you can see yourself working in a geosciences job for a long time.
Geoscience fields are diverse in their employment practices.
You’ll find a fairly equal (or close to) number of male and female individuals working in geosciences.
Also, there are people of all different ethnicities who work in geoscience careers.
For this reason, it’s an area that is relatively socially aware and is sure to be more accommodating of people with differences.
The most recent estimation of earnings for geoscientists in the United States is an average of $93,580 annually, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This can vary a great deal depending on where you live in the country and the demand for hiring people in your particular field where you live.
This is expected to increase in general throughout the US in the coming years.
Whether you’re concerned about your salary or you just want to find a valuable career that you love, a Geosciences BS is definitely a good choice.