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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Geology


Description of Major
The geology curriculum serves those interested in a broader knowledge of their natural environment and the geological sciences as part of their liberal arts education; provides a firm foundation in geology, related sciences and mathematics for students interested in the investigation and solution of geologic problems; prepares students for graduate study in the geosciences and related areas; provides the necessary background in earth science for those who plan to teach in this field at the secondary level; and serves those in other professional or interdisciplinary programs who need geology as a related science.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM geology faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying geology are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- applying data
- making commitments to others and
following through
- analyzing
- identifying priorities and parameters

Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- writing factual material clearly and
- describing objects or events with a
minimum of factual errors
- reporting accurately


Instructing/Educational Skills:
- explaining  


Research/Analytical Skills:
- compiling and selecting information
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- cataloging information
- reading


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- sensitivity to and appreciation of beauty
in the environment
- drafting/mechanical drawing
- mapping

Technical/Manual Skills:
- using tools
- being physically active
- doing detailed and accurate work


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the Geology Discipline:
- the ability to look at the earth in a broad
- an awareness of the environment
- an appreciation of time and space


Jobs Obtained by UMM Geology Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Over 64% of the geology graduates from 1964-1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM geology graduates:

Army Reserve Conservation/Mining Foreman
Associate Manager
Cartographic Technician
Clastics Geologist
Clastics Sedimentology Geologist
Computer Analyst
Computer Network Technician
Computer Programmer
Computer Technical Support
Contract Administrator
Control Systems Engineer
Corporate Analyst
Data Analyst
Elementary Science Specialist
Engineer Manager
Environmental Consultant
Environmental Director
Environmental Field Officer
Environmental Geologist
Environmental Project Manager
Environmental Scientist
Exploration Geologist
Food Scientist
Futures Trader
Geography/Quality Assurance
Geology Instructor
Geology Research Scientist
Glacial Geologist
Groundwater Hydrologist
Hazardous Materials Response Specialist
Horse Trainer
Industrial Hygienist
Information Services Manager
Insurance Agent
Insurance Office Manager
Laboratory Automation
Loan Officer
Manager of Information Services
Manufacturing Training Assistant
Military Officer
Mortgage Assistant
Office Manager
Personnel and Safety Director
Petroleum Geologist
Petroleum Technologist
Physician Assistant
Precambrian Geologist
Project Geologist
Project Manager
Research Scientist/Geology
Science Teacher
Soil and Water Analyst
Software Engineer
Technical Editor
Watershed District Administrator
Well Driller


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of on-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain skills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one's general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Geology (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in Geology