University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geology

Careers in Geology

"With the support of the UVM geology department, I was able to accept valuable research and networking opportunities that have changed my life".
Katie Gladstein

Rock of Ages

The Rock of Ages granite quarry, Barre, VT. The UVM Geology Club took a recent guided field trip through the quarry and had an opportunity to investigate the fabric of the granite and emplacement history of this pluton.

Preparation for many career options

Observation, data analysis, computer graphics, teamwork, basic chemistry lab techniques, microscopy, and a host of other skills will serve you well whether you go on to medical school or work in a non-profit environmental organization, whether you design back country skis or conduct environmental consulting (all of which are current careers of recent graduates).

Where do geology alumni work?

Graduates from UVM's geology program work at the U.S. Geological Society, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Limnological Research Center at the University of Minnesota, among many other geological research institutes. They work at environmental organizations and consulting firms; still others pursue careers as geochemists, oceanographers, metallurgists, engineers or educators. The list of career options is without limits.

Take action: We know that finding a job is a real concern for all college students. Don't hesitate to talk to your geology advisor about the job possibilities that exist for majors. They are in touch with a number of alumni/ae and are willing to share the experiences of recent graduates with current students.
Students can also talk to geologists directly. A number of professional organization and networking events occur throughout the year, and the geology office keeps track of what our alumni/ae are up to. We're happy to put you in contact with someone where appropriate.

Students can stay connected to alum and their progressing careers through the geology newsletter, "The Champlain Thrust."

UVM students always have access to the many job-hunting resources at the Career Services Office.

Advanced study

About half of geology graduates end up in graduate school, whether at UVM or others universities around the world. Alums study geology in graduate school, but some also find themselves in law school, business school and medical school. The field-based aspect of geology finds UVM alums pursuing geology in graduate school studying in far-off places like Siberia, for example.

Take action: If you think you may have an interest in pursuing geology at a graduate level, it's never too early to start planning. Your geology advisor is the best place to start.

You also will have access to UVM's own geology students4 so that you might find out more about their studies and research interests. Another resource for information on graduate studies (at UVM or elsewhere) is the Career Services Office.

Developing skills and competencies that are always an asset

Because geology helps you to develop observational skills of the world around you, students in majors ranging from art to engineering find geology a useful minor. Of course, students interested in the environment find a geology minor especially valuable. After all, if you are interested in the state of the Earth, shouldn't you know how it works?

Undergraduate competencies

By the time you graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree in geology or environmental science, geology concentration, you will be able to:

  • Master field skills (measurement, observation, sketching) to collect data/constrain samples.
  • Use a variety of instruments to collect data that address a wide of geologic problems.
  • Collect, manipulate and analyze data in 3D.
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate orally and in writing.
  • Predict the earth system response to specific changes using models of varying complexity.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of spatial and temporal rates and scales of processes.
  • Applying concepts learned from specific examples to more broadly based problems, for example: Extrapolate from what they've seen in VT to other areas on earth, or extrapolate processes on the surface to those in the Earth's interior, or extrapolate what they know about Earth materials to other problems in fields (such as petroleum, mining, environmental problems, water resource issues).
  • Apply quantitative approaches to the analysis of data sets and problem solving.
  • Application of the principles of chemistry, physics, and biology to the solution of geologic problems.

Last modified November 09 2009 10:08 AM