Ask-a-Geologist Q&A Video #17: Can I Be a Geologist?

Can I be a geologist?

This Ask-a-Geologist question was sent in by two readers, Alliondra and Alexandria. Their questions were so similar that I thought I would answer them together.

Alliondra and Alexandria asked, “Can I be a geologist someday and how can I make my dreams of becoming a geologist easier?” In this video, I’ll tell you a little secret about how I came to be a geology major in college along with some tips on things you can do to prepare for college and your career.

Well, girls, I am here to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it too.

How I Became a Geology Major

Now, I’m going to tell you a little secret though. When I went to college, I wasn’t intending on being a geology major. I really was not interested in the science. I had taken a little bit in high school and I thought it was really neat, but I also thought it was going to be really cool to wear all those business suits to work when I was grown up. So, I thought business would be a better major for me. So, in my first year in college, you’re always required to take some basic classes and I took geology as a science class, and I took economics as a business class.

I hated the business class. The economics was so boring. I went running back to the geology department and declared it my major. I really did like the geology class. It was really fun. It was the basic class that you had to take and learned a lot about rocks and minerals. And you have this rock test that everybody hates, but all the geologists actually love. And you learn to identify different rocks and minerals and it’s really cool. So, if I can do this, you guys can definitely do this too. Now, neither of you told me how old you are, so I’m going to assume that you guys are still in elementary or middle school, or high school. So, if you are in one of those grades and you’re really interested in becoming a geologist, there are a few things that you can do to help you get ready for college.

Use Science Fairs and School Projects to Learn Before College

Now, one thing is science fair projects. If your school does a science fair and even if it’s just optional, go ahead and pick a project that will tell you something about geology. The great thing about geology is there are so many different areas you can study. You can study environmental, mineralogy, structural, and petrology. There are all different types of stuff that you can learn about. So, pick a project that you think might be interesting and see if it’s something that you like. If it is, fabulous. If not, next year, pick another area of geology and see if that’s something that you might like. You can always ask your teachers for suggestions and if you need more help, you can always get in touch with me at, and I am happy to help you come up with a science fair project that might match your interests.

Now, also when you get into high school, take some chemistry classes if you can because even though there’s not a lot of chemistry in geology, there is a little bit, and it will really help you when you get into your geology classes in college.

Choose a College that Has Classes in the Type of Geology that Interests You

Now, if you’re looking at colleges and trying to figure out where you want to go to get a geology degree, there are a few things that you need to consider. Different schools have different strengths and it’s based on the professors that they have, the research that the professors are doing, and even where they’re located. Now, we live on the coast in South Carolina, so a lot of those schools in these areas really focus on the environment and they focus on oceanography and things that are related to geology and environmental geology. But we don’t have mountains here, so we can’t really study the mountains.

If you’re interested in that type of work, then you may want to go somewhere in the Rocky Mountains or out in the Pacific area, something to give you a location that may match up with the type of geology that you want to do. Always research the professors. Go visit, talk to them, see what they’re working on and see the classes that you might be able to take, and see what matches your interest the best. If you still have questions, as always, you can get in touch with us. We know some professors at different colleges we can get you in touch with, and hopefully, that will help you on your quest to become a geologist. I hope this answers your question. If you have any more questions, we would love to hear back from you girls. Now, if anybody else who’s watching this has questions about becoming a geologist, geology careers, or anything having to do with geology, we would love to hear from you.

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