Earth science is an interdisciplinary program of study which incorporates all the pure science subjects. It is an umbrella term which covers disciplines such as geology, oceanography, marine biology, paleontology, etc. A distinct feature of all these individual subjects is that each investigates a particular aspect or feature of the planet Earth; its composition, resources, and history.
What is Earth Science?
Also known as geoscience, Earth science covers a wide range of pure science subjects. This includes everything from geology, physics, geophysics to meteorology, chemistry, biology, and calculus. Students may choose any one of these areas.
By enrolling in an Earth science degree program, students can expect to gain an understanding of the history and origins of Earth, its complex geological features, the occurrence of dynamic processes, as well as a plethora of environmental issues.
Earth Science Degree Programs
Most entry-level positions in the field require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in earth science or geo science. The following undergraduate options are available for students to pursue:
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Earth Science Major
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Earth Science Major
Master of Science in Earth Science
At the post-graduate level:
Ph.D. in Earth Science
In any of these degree programs, students can expect to undertake not only advanced courses, but also engage in field work, laboratory work, and a number of research projects and experiments.
Due to the fact that Earth science is such a broad discipline covering a wide range of individual pure science subjects, there are a large number of career options for you to pursue with this degree. The career you choose will depend on your concentration or specialization area as well as the amount of education you have in the field.
Earth scientists may explore careers in mining, civil engineering, hydrocarbon, meteorology, civil engineering, oil and gas extraction, or geological industries.
Common employers include government agencies, environmental management service providers or consultants, consulting firms, and the oil and gas industries.
Job Outlook and Prospective Salaries
Listed below is a set of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For each profession, the 2012 annual median salary as well as the projected rate of growth from 2012-22 is listed:
Geoscientists - $90,890.
Projected Growth: 16%
Mining and Geological Engineers - $84,320.
Projected Growth: 12%
Geological and Petroleum Technicians - $52,700.
Projected Growth: 15%
Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists - $89,260.
Projected Growth: 10%
A degree in Earth science allows students to take a wide variety of pure science subjects to learn about its Earth’s history, features, and environment. This interdisciplinary course of study can help students pursue different careers. Much will depend upon and be determined by the precise area of concentration within the degree that you choose.