Geology major can lead to intriguing jobs

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent

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[Logan A. White / Times-News correspondent

   Editor’s note: Each month, Teens & 20s writer Logan A. White delves into the variety of college majors offered.
Summer’s just begun, school is out, and it’s the stage just before senior year starts. If you’re headed to college, freshman year is upon you, which means it’s time to make some important decisions. What career are you planning to choose?
June’s featured major is geology, which is officially defined as the study of earth’s physical structure and substance. While it may seem like time spent with a bunch of rocks, careers rooted in this science are some of the most groundbreaking jobs out there. Whether it’s finding safer ways to extract natural gas or studying ancient volcanoes on Mars, geologists influence everything we do.
Three of the most intriguing jobs a degree in geology can lead to:
1. Seismologist — When the earth shifts underneath your feet and shakes everything up, it’s critical to know where the tremor came from and why it occurred. Seismologists are experts on earthquakes and their effects, researching the origins of even the most minor trembles and predicting the most dangerous quakes. This career can require a varied educational level, ranging from a bachelor’s degree for basic positions to a Ph.D for intensive research, according to study.com.
2. Paleontologist — From Jurassic Park to soaring skeletons in museums, dinosaurs have always captured the curiosity of both adults and children. If you’re interested in uncovering history hidden by time, paleontology might be the career for you. This science offers an outdoor and indoor experience, as time is spent both excavating fossils in the field and analyzing their composition in the lab. However, according to Chron.com, this is a small career field, with the supply of scientists greater than the demand. Paleontologists usually pursue specialized higher education in addition to a bachelor’s degree.
3. Volcanologist — With one of the most explosive jobs in geology, these scientists are literal rock stars. Whether it’s hiking an ancient volcano to take measurements or getting up close and personal with molten lava flows, volcanologists have some incredibly exciting fieldwork opportunities. According to EnvironmentalScience.org, the demand for these daring scientists is predicted to increase by 16 percent in the next 10 years — which is faster than the average profession. Despite requiring education and certification beyond a bachelor’s degree, volcanology can lead to exotic adventures and scientific discovery.
If you think geology might be the career for you, don’t hesitate to pursue your interests. This major can take you from the Jurassic Era all the way to Hawaii’s rivers of lava. College can be complicated, but unmasking your major doesn’t have to be.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate.

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