Geography vs Geology: Job Description, Outlook, Salary, Schools.

During ancient times, rocks were a habitation for many families. Even after so many years had gone, people continued to tour caves and use them as places of tourist attractions. In order to preserve this old settlement, some professionals started studying it while some others found priceless treasures within them. In this article, we will closely consider these two professions; geography vs geology as it relates to the study of medieval times.

Furthermore, we’ll be comparing the two careers to know which is better and lucrative.

According to Merriam-webster.com, Geography is a science that deals with the description, distribution, and interaction of the diverse physical, biological, and cultural features of the earth’s surface.

It seeks to answer the questions of why things are as they are, and where they are. On the other hand, Geology is a science that deals with the history of the earth and its life especially as recorded in rocks.

So do follow very closely as we dissect this subject. We will compare geography vs geology, looking at them from all borders of similarities, duties, job outlook, salary, and schools.

Meanwhile, see the table of contents below for an overview of all you’ll learn in this article.

What is Geography?

In a layman’s language, Geography is just the study of the map. The truth is that Geography is far beyond just studying maps. Geography studies the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places, and environments. 

Similarly, it has to do with the study of the interaction between people and their environments, both natural and human.  It deals with knowledge of the world in which we live, its environment, and its interactions with people around it.

Geographers examine the places and regions resulting from such interaction and analyze the spatial characteristics of all manner of cultural, economic, political, and physical processes and relationships.

Geography is a mix of social and physical sciences, combining the study of the planet’s physical properties with a focus on societies and how they interact.

Basically, geography has two study field areas. They are Human Geography and Physical Geography.

Human geography:

Human geography is an area of geography that deals with the examination of settlement patterns, the connections between people and places, and the cultural and economic interdependence of the world system.

Most Human geographers relate their work to the physical environment and the interaction between human and physical systems. Topics covered here include ethnicity, urban dynamics, economic patterns, migration, and the spatial difference between work and residential locations.

Physical geography:

Physical geography studies the natural world. It studies the earth, the atmosphere, the planet, and various other natural systems including tectonics, ice, flooding, and mountainous terrain, where human activity is intertwined with human interactions on Earth all the world.

Human geography includes population, globalization, agriculture, forestry, fishing, cities, tourism, and tourism.

See: 10 Best Petroleum Geology Schools in the World in 2022

What Is Geology?

Geology is the study of the universe, its composition, structure, history, and future.

As a Geology student, you will learn about many different topics, such as the beginning and development of soils, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, composition, and systems of water, flooding, land, the relationship between humans and the planet.

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If you become a geologist, you will deal with outdoor work as well as research and even travel the world all the time.

Moreso, with well develop critical skills in all sciences, you can function very well in other areas such as problem-solving, monitoring, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and text and text displays. You will probably work separately and as a team.

Are there similarities between Geography and Geology?

Well, there is just one similarity between Geography and Geology aside from its suffix that are the same.

The major similarity between geology and geography is that both deals with the study of the earth planet.

Are there difference between Geographer and Geologist?

Sure, there are differences between the two professions. Although both deal with the study of the earth, their unique features and roles set them apart from each other.

In this section, we will clearly differentiate between these two fields in different sections of their expertise like roles, job outlook, salary, and schools that offers the programs.

#1 Geography vs Geology– Responsibilities

Let us look at some of the responsibilities of each of this professions.

Responsibilities of a Geographer

When exploring things like climate, natural resources, and geography, a geographer often finds him/herself in the wild.

One of the major the role Geographers play is the creating of maps to better view data which requires the use of tools like GIS software and GPS.

For this reason, computation and analytical skills are essential for the project. Because geographers will report and distribute their findings, like many other scientists, they need communication and writing.

Other Job responsibilities of a geographer include:

  • Carrying out surveys and interviews to collect data
  • Advising the government and organizations on things like planning roads, based on their maps and data
  • Using remote sensing equipment
  • Studying population density in different regions

Responsibilities of a Geologist

The major role of geologists includes the identification and assessment of the location, quantity, and quality of mineral deposits. 

Also, they analyze data and write up reports of their findings. They also work in laboratories where they conduct tests on things like rock and mineral samples.

Other job responsibilities of Geologists includes;

  • Exploring the structure and evolution of the earth and its natural resources
  • planning programs for exploration of sites for oil, gas, water, minerals, etc
  • surveying and mapping geologically promising sites
  • collecting and recording samples and data from test sites
  • analyzing geological data using specialist computer applications
  • ascertaining extraction risks
  • preparing reports
  • advising managerial, technical and engineering staff on the development of reserves

#2 Geography vs Geology– Education

To be a professional in any of these areas you must have the required skills and qualifications. The skills are usually acquired through rigorous training.

To become a professional geologist, you must have a degree in a major subject such as geology, geophysics, geoscience, or earth sciences. Also, you must have experience in geology software (e.g. ArcGIS, Rockware) and other data and modeling tools (e.g. Adobe Illustrator, GoCAD)

Sometimes, organizations that hire geologists lookout for education qualifications in defined areas of geology or geoscience such as hydrogeology.

Moreso, some vital skills like Knowledge of a range of sciences and their applications, teamwork skills, organizational skills, proficiency in computer and English are required.

On the other hand, to become a professional geographer you must have a bachelor’s degree in geography or its related field. Also, you need to have ground knowledge in the following subjects English literature, history, and various modern and classical languages.

If you want to work outside of the federal government, you may need a master’s degree in geography or in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Most geography programs include courses in both physical and human geography, statistics or math, remote sensing, and GIS.

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In addition, courses in specialized areas of expertise are becoming increasingly important because the geography field is broad and interdisciplinary.

Interestingly, with an undergraduate degree in this field, you can go for a career such as a surveyor, urban or regional planner, geoscientist, or cartographer.

Read Also: Best Geology Schools in the World|2022

#3. Geography vs Geology – Coursework

Since the roles and education requirements for this two studies are different, that means their coursework and modules are different too.

For instance, Geology undergraduate level study is done on the field of engineering, or as part of the science degree. Earth’s sciences can include geography, biology, chemistry, archeology, psychology, environmental and physical sciences.

However, education will include modules at a small scale such as small sciences, the introduction of world sciences, world chemistry, mathematics and geography, materials for world sciences and sciences, computer science, data analysis, communications technology, and global climate change.

On the other hand, Geography study covers topics like that deals on rivers, sustainability, environmental modeling, the physical environment, the politics of climate change, the making of the modern city, political geography and geopolitics, economic geography, coastal and estuarine environments, environmental hazards and energy resources.

In summary, geography study sharpens the ability to observe and think critically, as well as the ability to move forward and make changes based on the knowledge base.

Geography vs Geology– Job Opportunities

There are only a few job opportunities for geography graduates who want to specialize in only the geography aspect. But the good news like I mentioned earlier is that aside from the geography field, there are other fields you can fit in perfectly well with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in geography. This is because of the problem solving and thinking skills you must have acquired during your study.

With your degree, you can work in business, finance, marketing, public relations, and human resources sectors. There are also opportunities in education, engineering, and building field though there are just a few.

Then, as a geography graduate, you can work as a community planner, filmmaker, surveyor, environmentalist, traveler, emergency responder, geologist, and meteorologist.

However, some of the places you can work include non-governmental organizations, such as professionals in development, poverty, and climate change, government and public service agencies.

Meanwhile, for a geologist, there are many job opportunities available in the following fields; geology and geoscience, pollution control, Glacial geology, water science, ground investigation, geochemistry, volcanology, field seismology, and geotechnical engineering.

Some places you can work with your degree include environmental agencies and professionals; oil and gas, groundwater, engineering and construction industries; nuclear research committees and committees; waste management company; government agencies and museums.

#5 Geography vs Geology- Salary

A geographer earns a median wage of $81,540 annually as of May 2019.

The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,280, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $113,140.

According to collegegrad.com, In May 2019, the median annual wages for geographers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government, excluding postal service$86,850
Architectural, engineering, and related services76,220
State government, excluding education and hospitals                          57,860

The salary schedule of Geologists differs greatly from that of geography. It largely depends on factors like proficiency, level of experience, industry, geographic location, education, and some times the country.

For instance, in the United States of America, a geologist earns an average yearly salary of $92,040. Wages typically start from $51,000 and go up to $187,910.

Generally, a geologist Starting Salary (in INR) is 2,25,153, for Mid Level Salary (in INR) is 4,93,325 and that of a Senior Level Salary (INR) is 12,38,268 annually. This is for experts in India.

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What Are The Best Schools For Geography degree programs?

The best schools to study Geography degree programs include;

  • Clark University
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • University of Maryland – College Park
  • Colgate University
  • University of Washington – Seattle Campus
  • University of California – Santa Barbara
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Denver
  • Middlebury College
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
  • University of Mary Washington
  • Binghamton University
  • George Washington University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillVirginia Tech
  • Syracuse University
  • University at Buffalo
  • James Madison University

Read Also: Geology Scholarships, 2022 | Study Abroad

Which Schools Are The Best For Geology Degree Programs?

Below is a list of some of the best schools where you can get a Geology degree.

  • Stanford University
  • Texas A&M University – College Station
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Brown University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Princeton University
  • University of Washington – Seattle Campus
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Pennsylvania State University – University Park
  • Yale University
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • Bowdoin College
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • Union College New York
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of California – Santa Cruz
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Colorado State University-Fort Collins

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Which Is the Best Between Geology and Geography?

Well, the answer to this question is based on personal perception and interest. Making your choice should be based on what you love doing and interested in.

To give you a clue, if you want to earn a fat salary or work in the oil and gas industries, I will advise you to go for geology.

On the other hand, if you want to work in academic research, you should go for geography.

But remember, make sure you make your choice based on what you love doing.

FAQ

What is Geography?

Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places, and environments. 

What Is Geology?

Geology is the study of the universe, its composition, structure, history, and future.

Which Schools Are The Best For Geology Degree Programs?

Below is a list of some of the best schools where you can get a Geology degree.

Stanford University
Texas A&M University – College Station
The University of Texas at Austin
Brown University
University of California – Berkeley
Dartmouth College
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Princeton University
University of Washington – Seattle Campus
Columbia University in the City of New York
Pennsylvania State University – University Park
Yale University…..

What Are The Best Schools For Geography degree programs?

The best schools to study Geography degree programs include;

Clark University
University of California – Los Angeles
University of Maryland – College Park
Colgate University
University of Washington – Seattle Campus
University of California – Santa Barbara
Dartmouth College
University of Denver
Middlebury College
The University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
University of Mary Washington
Binghamton University
George Washington University…

Are there similarities between Geography and Geology?

Well, there is just one similarity between Geography and Geology aside from its suffix that are the same. Both deals with the study of the earth planet.

References

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