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Is a Career in Geoscience right for you?

Do you like the outdoors?Are you concerned about the environment?  Do you like to travel?

Do you want to help in solving some of the most urgent problems facing humanity?

These are just a few of the factors that often convince people to pursue a career in the geosciences. Never before in human history have so many issues involving our environment posed such serious challenges to future generations. The demand for energy resources, impacts and causes of global change, pollution of water and soils, earthquakes, flooding… these are just a few of the topics that geoscientists are addressing today.

What is the job outlook for geoscience majors?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s recent survey, demand for geoscientists is projected to grow by at least 5% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as all occupations, and the median annual wage for geoscientists in May 2021 was $83,680.  Many of our undergraduate majors have job offers before they graduate.   

Where do geoscience majors find jobs?

Energy Industry – this includes the traditional oil and gas exploration field, but increasingly it encompasses alternative energy companies, such as geothermal, hydroelectric, and even solar. And since every form of energy that’s utilized has an environmental impact, many energy companies now hire environmental geoscientists to address problems before they happen.

Environmental Field – this rapid growing sector includes private, government, and academic positions. In the Northeast, and especially in the New York area, many job opportunities exist in environmental consulting and cleanup companies. Our Department has placed many graduates in the numerous environmental companies based on Long Island and the NY metropolitan area.

Natural Hazard Management – the increased occurrence of storms, flooding, and coastal erosion have created opportunities in the private sector and government agencies to oversee and manage risks to persons and property. As global change continues, jobs in natural hazard assessment and management are expected to expand.

Public Policy – legislators and government leaders rely on geoscientists in formulating public policy for matters ranging from safety standards for mining operations to offshore oil drilling.

Water Resource Management – concerns about water resources and water quality have led to increased demands for hydrologists, those within geosciences specializing in water.

Teaching – the demand for high school teachers in earth science is expected to rise as the number of retirements increase.  Teaching positions at colleges and universities require advanced degrees.

Research – basic and applied research in geoscience fields continues to provide the foundation for innovation in solving problems. Usually requiring an advanced degree, geoscientists find opportunities in academic, industrial, and government labs, as well as field-based research all over the world.

National Security – surprisingly, many geoscience graduates find private and government jobs relating to national security. These range from monitoring underground nuclear testing to assessment of reserves for strategic minerals and resources.

For more information about a geoscience career see this webpage:

Make an appointment with the Undergraduate Studies Director in the Department of Geosciences to learn more about majoring in Geosciences or Earth and Space Sciences. 

Prof. Hanna Nekvasil   email:   Hanna.Nekvasil "at"
rof. Lars Ehm   email:  Lars.Ehm "at"