bachelor's degree is adequate for a few entry-level positions, but most
geoscientists and hydrologists need a master's degree, which is the
preferred educational requirement for most research positions in private
industry, Federal agencies, and State geological surveys. A Ph.D. is
necessary for most high-level research and college teaching positions,
but is generally not required for other jobs.
Professional Science Master's degrees
in the area of Geologial Sciences is another option.
There are over 800
hundred geoscience programs offered throughout the United States. Some
universities have more than one program, with each housed in a different
department. According to the American
Geological Institute, the number of students enrolled in the geosciences
in US colleges and universities is about 19000 undergraduates and 8000 graduate
students. AGI manages a
web-based listing of U.S. geoscience departments.
Professional Science Master's (PSM) is an reasonably new (about a decade
old) graduate degree
designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or
mathematics, while simultaneously developing workplace skills highly
valued by employers. The programs are developed in concert with
employers and are designed to dovetail into present and future
professional career opportunities. They are designed to allow students
to pursue advanced training and excel in science without a Ph.D., while
simultaneously developing highly-valued business skills without an MBA.
A current listing PSMs related to fields in the Geological Science is
Traditional geoscience courses emphasizing classical geologic methods
and topics (such as mineralogy, petrology, paleontology, stratigraphy,
and structural geology) are important for all geoscientists. People who
study physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, or computer
science may also qualify for some geoscience positions if their course
work includes geology. Most universities do
not offer degrees in hydrology, but instead offer concentrations in
hydrology or water studies in their geoscience, environmental science,
or engineering departments. Students interested in hydrology should take
courses in the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering
science, soil science, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric
science, geology, oceanography, hydrogeology, and the management or
conservation of water resources.
Computer skills are
essential for prospective geoscientists and hydrologists; students who
have experience with computer modeling, data analysis and integration,
digital mapping, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems
(GIS) will be the most prepared entering the job market. Knowledge of
the Global Positioning System (GPS) -- a locator system that uses
satellites -- has also become essential. Some employers seek applicants
with field experience, so a summer internship is often helpful.
and hydrologists usually work as part of a team with other geoscientists
and with environmental scientists, engineers, and technicians, they must
have good interpersonal skills. Strong oral and written communication
skills also are important because writing technical reports and research
proposals and explaining research results in person are important
aspects of the work. Some jobs, particularly for petroleum geologists,
require foreign travel, and for these positions knowledge of a second
language is beneficial.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by
American Geological Institute and the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.