Deciding whether or not to pursue your Master of Science in Geology? Here are the 10 reasons why you should go for it.
1. You want to have better career options in geology
If you’re looking for a career in the geosciences, you will have more and better job opportunities with your geology master’s degree. Geologists with a master’s degree are in high demand—geology jobs are projected to grow by 35% over the next 10 years, with more than 150,000 geology jobs created in Louisiana alone. With your master’s in geology, you can work in fields like the oil and gas industry, government agencies, mining and minerals, academia, paleontology, oceanography, and water management. And at UL Lafayette, our job placement rate for master’s in geology graduates is nearly 100 percent.
2. You want to earn more money
Most often, a better career comes with a higher salary. Geologists and related professionals who have earned their master’s degree have a higher earning capacity than those with just a bachelor’s. That salary gap can range from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on how much experience you have.
3. You want to learn more about a specific area of geology
One of the best things about earning a graduate degree is the opportunity to study intensely an area of geology you’re passionate about.
Whether it’s petroleum exploration carbon sequestration, water quality, land degradation, wetlands, or geophysics, you can explore the specialization that really excites you.
4. You enjoy the outdoors and getting your hands dirty
Geologists don’t spend all of their time in a lab or an office. If you earn your master’s in geology, you’ll spend your time working with the elements that you’re studying—water, sediment, minerals, rocks, and more. At UL Lafayette, our master’s in geology students travel across the country for field camps and work often at the Geology Museum downtown to curate exhibits of fossils, minerals, and rocks.
5. You like numbers and the stories they tell
Data collection and interpretation are a huge part of the geosciences. With the help of geological applications software like GIS, CAD, and other mapping programs, data can help us learn more about how the Earth was formed, where to drill for oil, or how to best protect the environment from potential harm. With a master’s in geology, you’ll be empowered to answer the important questions about our planet and natural resources.
6. You enjoy researching and learning more about the elements around us
A large part of earning your geology master’s degree is completing a thesis based on your own independent, original research. At UL Lafayette, south Louisiana is your laboratory with the rivers, wetlands, beaches, and oil and gas exploration industries all at your disposal to conduct your own experiments and research. And the research that happens locally can have a global reach, from Kaplan, LA, to Kathmandu, Nepal.
7. You want to learn from the experts
When you’re working toward your master’s in geology, you’re not going at it alone. Each master’s student has a team of faculty and a designated faculty advisor who will help guide your research and help you reach your goals. Our faculty’s expertise ranges from geochemistry and geophysics to hydrology and water quality, and more.
8. You want to earn your doctorate
Earning your master’s in geology is probably the best training you can have before entering a doctoral program. Even if you’re unsure of whether you’d like to earn your Ph.D., a geology master’s program is a great way to start your graduate studies to help you determine if you’d like to pursue an even more advanced degree.
9. You have an appreciation for the past and excitement for the future
Geology and related fields are constantly shaped by new discoveries about our past and how those will affect our future, including right here at UL Lafayette. For example, our faculty members have found a new way to measure past levels of carbon dioxide to better understand climate change and are discovering new evidence of deep-earth tectonic pulses off the coast of Spain and Portugal. Having your master’s in geology will equip you with the tools you need to better understand what happened before us and what will happen after us.
10. You want practical industry experience
Our department competes annually in the AAPG’s Imperial Barrel Competition. Our team has won the Gulf Coast stage of the competition 4 times, and we won the International competition in both 2012 and 2014, beating out more than 120 schools worldwide. No other university has won the international competition more than once. Company recruiters have noted this performance, which makes our graduates highly regarded and in high demand with prospective employers.