Geology is a fascinating and vast area of study which finds application in various industries.

For students who enjoy geography love exploring land surfaces and are fascinated by different types of soils and rocks a career in geology would do justice to their interests.

Geology is essentially the study of the physical matter that constitutes the Earth. It is a concentrated and popular area of study all over the world. Explains a student of St Xavier’s College who is working in the field after doing his MSc. ‘I loved geography in school so when college offered me geology as a subject of study I jumped at the option’.

A student of IIT Bombay geology is a field which lets her explore the Earth and its surfaces coupled with a tinge if adventure. I love trekking. Being a geologist, my job isn’t restricted to the confines of a room. So yes, though it may not sound like it, geology is a very interesting and adventure filled profession.

Understanding Geology

Although the subject is almost three centuries old, most people still confuse it with other branches of science. There are limited colleges which teach the subject. Even today most students do not know of this option.

The science of geology is vast with several branches entailing in-depth study. For example, engineering geology is the field where geological concepts are applied to engineering operations. Historical geology involves using geology to better understand the history of the Earth, changes on the Earth’s surface and evolution. Hydrogeology refers to the study of groundwater in the Earth’s crust.

Petrology is the sphere of geology which concentrates on rock formation, while paleontology is the study of prehistoric life, evolution of organisms and their interactions with each other / the environment.

Career scope

The career scope as a geologist is on the upswing. Earlier only government organizations would employ geologists. However, privatization boom and opening up of the mining sector has positively impacted the job scene. The demand for geologists is more than the supply.

Geologists have scope in several industries including mining oil exploration, ceramics, cement construction, gemologists (in the evaluation of gemstones) eco-tourism, environmental monitoring, land surveying, ground water exploration, watershed management etc. There is no field where an aspect of the Earth is involved and a geologist is not needed.

Field jobs as a geologist could involve projects like mapping assignments. For example the Geological Survey of India has field assignments where a team is out in the wilderness for six to eight months annually. Other jobs are in oil rigs and oil exploration platforms.

One opts for full time research after an MSC degree. As Shreyata Sohni from K J Somaiya College who plans to do a research in Himalayan tectonics says I always wished to enhance my knowledge by exploring the land surfaces of the Himalayas which are very important for our country.

Skill Sets

Samant says that students wanting to pursue a career in geology should have the following qualities: physical fitness; mental preparedness to work away from home or civilization, willingness to migrate and a willingness to get your hands dirty doing field world. Additionally a strong base in physics, chemistry and maths is an advantage. However, what is most needed is a passion for the subject and the Earth.

Money Matters

Salaries in geology depend on the student’s institute, placement facilities as well as the employer. Moreover the pay package is influenced by the branch of geology that the student opts for and the industry he wishes to enter. However, starting salaries after a postgraduates degree usually range from Rs 10,000 to 50,000 . After one establishes himself in the industry, the sky is the limit.

Institute in India

1) Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
2) National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad
3) Physical Research laboratory, Ahmedabad.
4) National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.