Geologists must have a broadly based education. The first two years focus on the fundamentals of several disciplines in preparation for more intensive advanced geology courses in the junior and senior years.
Most students continue their education through the master of science degree because starting salaries are higher, advancement is more rapid, and it provides a competitive advantage in seeking employment. The majority of geologists work for environmental or petroleum companies. Other employers include mining companies, geological surveys, marine institutes, highway departments, universities, and a variety of governmental agencies (water resources, conservation, park services, etc.).