After about 25 years, employment opportunities are very high again in the field of exploration for natural raw materials. Good students graduating with BS, MS and PhD degrees in geology command a starting salary of about $70,000 to $120,000 in the oil industry. Jobs in exploration for metallic ores are being offered in many countries. With newer technology for processing raw materials being available, the field of exploration for different kinds of raw materials is widening – more and more countries are using natural gas to generate energy. The technology to process gas-rich shale (fracking) in the underground is also getting popular and boosting employment in exploring for shale gas. Whereas iron and cement continue to be the principal raw materials in construction, newer products in glass and ceramics are gaining ground, opening up jobs in exploring for clays and rare earth elements. And, society’s insatiable need for gold and diamond continues.
The need for clean water is growing at Malthusian rates everywhere. Increased pumping of groundwater is resulting in deeper drawdown and influx of salt water in coastal areas. Exploration for and management of water resources is increasing the demand for hydrogeologists. Increased processing of raw materials has come at a cost of increased pollution of water resources. Thus, the scope of employment of environmental geologists has increased many times.
In summary, jobs are galore in exploration geology. Geologists trained in communication — especially in English and computer graphics — and mathematical modelling are in the highest demand.
The author is Herman B Wells Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington (United States) and foreign secretary, Indian Society of Applied Geochemistry and Indian Association of Sedimentologists
Institutes at a glance
* University of Delhi www.du.ac.in
* Banaras Hindu University www.bhu.ac.in
* Jadavpur University, Kolkata www.jadavpur.edu
* Presidency College, Kolkata www.presidencyadmission.net
Most universities offer this discipline. Some of the IITs have related programmes