Ear to the ground: Career Option as a Seismologist

A new branch of science though very complex in nature, seismology is fast gaining importance among the young aspirants who want to make a career out of it. Seismology is no longer only applied to predict earthquakes, but also it is a vital technique to search for oil (the most important commercial application).

Seismology is fast becoming a lucrative career options due to its challenging nature and fat pay packet.Apart from government organizations in geophysics and research, petroleum sector is one of the biggest employers of the seismologists. A postgraduate in geophysics is the ideal degree to start in this booming sector. Rhode Island University, University of Helsinki, University of Nevada, Harvard university conducts courses on seismology, applied science, PhD opportunities. Seismology is taught as a core subject in the master degree program offered by these universities.

IITs are also a good option to study. Applied geophysics is also a related degree to gain a foothold in this area. Michigan Technical University, University of Oklahoma are the popular destinations to study Geophysics. Candidates can obtain their masters in geophysics and then can pursue their doctorate in seismology.

Seismology is a specialized science focused on scientific and social concerns. It has various subfields like ‘ground motion seismology’ which is focused to understand and predict devastations after an earthquake happened. The most popular commercial application of seismology is the exploration for oil and this is the reason large number of geophysicist being absorbed into petroleum industry.

Seismologists use the principle of seismic wave to detect the presence of oil inside earth’s surface. They produce elastic (usually using dynamite) waves to map the subsurface down few kilometers. Seismology along with predicting earthquakes and exploring oil also deals with generation, spreading, and recording of seismic waves. It is one of the major tools to study earthquake.

Research seismologists come into the field with a variety of undergraduate majors. Only a few universities offer undergraduate degree in geophysics of which seismology is a vital part. A degree in physics and mathematics is also helpful for an entry into this sector. Other option includes working in metrological departments and teaching/researching in colleges. Seismic prospecting (a critical component of petroleum exploration) has a lucrative market. So get ready to explore end endless possibilities as a seismologist!.