High school students interested in pursuing careers in the energy industry, oil exploration and production, water resources, oceanography, paleontology, petrology, mineralogy, and many environmental areas should consider Earth sciences as their major in college. Jobs are abundant in the oil and gas industry, mining, water resources, and environmental consulting. The energy and mining sectors employ one-half of those in the geoscience community. A student with career interests in these areas should pursue a bachelor of science degree through the School of Earth Sciences. As part of the undergraduate education in the School of Earth Sciences, a student will follow a rigorous curriculum with grounding in all the basic sciences and mathematics. The whole Earth is the laboratory for students of Earth science and studying the Earth requires application of all fields of science. Courses in the major include preparation in physical geology and historical geology, and then advanced undergraduate courses in mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, field geology, and then a choice among sedimentation/stratigraphy, geomorphology, paleontology, and geophysics. Required advanced undergraduate courses allow specialization in environmental geology, geochemistry, hydrogeology, volcanology, petrology, mineralogy, geophysics, glaciology, paleontology, stratigraphy or paleoclimatology.
Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree through the School of Earth Sciences generally are preparing for careers in high school science teaching, law school, medical school, business school, or technical writing. Challenging careers exist in academia, consulting, and non-traditional professions. Federal, state, and local governments and private foundations hire many geologists for research, regulatory functions, and teaching. Other paths take students with baccalaureate degrees in Earth sciences to varied careers in areas including data management and analysis, governmental research and regulation, law, military, law enforcement, and national security, resources management and conservation, remote sensing, technical writing and communication, and urban and regional planning.