Earth science careers
Your options for Earth science careers will depend on which branch of the subject you’ve chosen to specialize in, and the level to which you study. For those who study to PhD level, or at least complete a research-based master’s degree, specialized Earth science careers include the following:
A geologist studies the various processes happening inside the planet Earth, analyzing why they happen and what materials are produced or transformed. If you choose to pursue a career in geology, you may find a role within the energy or mining sectors, advising on the location and extraction of different metals, oils and other natural resources. Alternatively, you could choose an academic path, working in a university or a research group in the private sector. The focus of your research could vary from analyzing meteors or using isotope techniques to assess environmental change over long periods, to modelling volcanic activity and predicting earthquakes.
As an oceanographer, you’ll need to be passionate about the ocean and its mysteries. You will analyze the complex interactions happening in the water and how they affect the atmosphere and the biosphere. You could examine pollution levels in different parts of the ocean, contribute weather predictions or climate change projections, advise on mineral exploitation or help provide guidelines and advice for the fishing industry. In addition to data analysis, use of computer simulation and report writing, you could also be involved in more hands-on tasks such as collecting samples from the ocean or ocean floor using specialized equipment.
This is a similar field to geology, but with an emphasis on understanding the physics involved in the Earth’s composition and transformations. Careers as a geophysicist could mean focusing on earthquake forecasting, or on providing guidance for projects such as real estate development, reservoir creation, landfill site usage and extraction of natural resources. This role is likely to have a focus on collecting seismic data in order to estimate the properties of the Earth’s subsurface, and geophysicists are also commonly referred to as seismologists.