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Geoscience Degree Career Paths

Geoscience is an exciting, dynamic field that explores the range of Earth’s resources — from volcanic rocks to renewable energy, soil, oceans and the atmosphere. The demand for professional geologists is strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for geoscience careers will grow 14% through 2026, twice as fast as the national average. The bureau suggests that this growth is due to “the need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management.”

Earth science degree jobs exist in many industries, from oil and gas to mining, environmental consulting and academic research. Earth science degree salaries are another attractive aspect of the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for geoscientists in 2017 was $89,850. Geoscientists in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry earned the highest median salary at $125,360. The next highest median salaries were in the federal government at $98,220, and in architectural and engineering services at $80,510.

Earth science is a good major for students who are motivated to understand Earth’s systems through scientific exploration. The Geoscience major at Drexel offers three concentrations to help students tailor their studies to their career goals: Applied Geoscience, Paleontology and General Geoscience.

WHAT TYPES OF GEOLOGY CAREERS EXIST WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE?

Geoscience degree jobs may be located in the field, laboratory or office — and often in a combination of the three. They gather and use data about Earth and other planets to address environmental issues, make discoveries, and mitigate geohazards like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. With a choice of three concentrations — Applied Geoscience, Paleontology and General Geoscience — graduates of Drexel’s earth science degree are well-prepared for a variety of positions.

Careers in Applied Geoscience

The Applied Geoscience concentration prepares students to enter the job market with bright employment prospects. In the United States, the mid-Atlantic is the epicenter of the environmental industry, with over one hundred consulting firms within the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Additionally, Pennsylvania has an abundance of entry-level geological jobs pertaining to the environmental impact of Marcellus Shale drilling and the exploitation of gas-shale resources. Possible employment opportunities include positions in:

  • Environmental consulting
  • Geotechnical consulting
  • Geophysical consulting
  • The petroleum and natural gas industry
  • The mining industry
  • Federal agencies
  • State and local agencies

Careers in Paleontology

The Paleontology concentration prepares students for graduate school and for entry-level positions in paleontology. Potential positions include:

  • Biostratigrapher for petroleum companies
  • Fossil resource manager for the Bureau of Land Management
  • Related positions with the National Parks Service, USGS and state geological surveys

The geoscience core also prepares students for employment in the environmental consulting field or to pursue other areas of advanced study in the geosciences.

Other Careers in Geoscience

Students graduating from the General Geoscience concentration are well prepared to enter graduate school in science or policy, or to pursue professional studies. Students seeking immediate employment will be competitive for jobs with certain NGOs, environmental foundations, consulting companies and government agencies in policy positions related to natural resources and the environment.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARD A CAREER IN GEOSCIENCE

A world of opportunity awaits graduates of Drexel’s BS in Geoscience. The Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science has a strong network of alumni who are willing to offer advice on co-op and job placements to current students. We invite you to learn more about the committed faculty and students who form the core of the BEES community — leading our students to success in geoscience and many other fields.

Learn More About the Bachelor of Science in Geoscience

APPLY FOR A DEGREE IN GEOSCIENCE

Apply for a degree in Geoscience or visit campus to get firsthand information about a Drexel education. Contact us at bees@drexel.edu for more information.

Prospective Student Inquiries

Please send inquiries to coas@drexel.edu or call us at 215.895.1805. We look forward to hearing from you.


Undergraduate Advising

Laurie Zinberg, Academic Adviser, Drexel College of Arts and Sciences

Laurie Zinberg

Academic Adviser
3031 MacAlister
215.895.2689 | lgz23@drexel.edu

Susan Cole

Susan Cole

Assistant Director and Academic Adviser
2024 MacAlister
215.895.2905 | coless@drexel.edu

Contact Us

Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science

2024 MacAlister Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.571.4651 | bees@drexel.edu

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103