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Thread: Question about choosing education: Geology vs Geoengineering for prospecting

  1. #1 Question about choosing education: Geology vs Geoengineering for prospecting 
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    I'm almost done with my first year in geology, and I'm feeling certain that I want to work with prospecting.


    I now have the option to either continue with my current education and take a master in bedrock geology with some courses specialised towards prospecting or I can switch to a geoengineering with specialty in geoscience/ore geology/prospecting that's just next to Boliden in Sweden and that also offers 10 weeks guaranteed internship. I can take the courses from my geology education with me to the geoengineering education so either would require four more years of study, and I'm curious about what the job opportunities are with either.


    Do geologist and geoengineers have about the same chances to get hired in the prospecting industry, or is one generally more attractive than the other? Do geoengineers and geologist compete for the same type of jobs, or do they have different roles? Would really appreciate your help, I have about 14 days to decide and it's a pretty big decision


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Contact a potential employer; ask to speak to their Human REsources people. Tell them your situation and ask what kind of graduate they are looking for. Repeat until you have a clear idea. (My guess is the geology course will be the better bet; the geoengineering role might give you more options donw the line if you later decide you don't like prospecting,.)


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  4. #3  
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    It's worth clarifying for those of us in the Americas what is exactly entailed in 'prospecting'. I say this because here in Canada, it relates to non-educated, largely unskilled work that is employed in front-lines hardrock exploration. For example, in my home province the average joe on the street can get a lifetime prospecting license for $13, and they are typically employed in claim-staking, trenching, channel sampling, line cutting, etc.

    I am assuming you are referring more to ore exploration at a professional/securities-certified level?

    If so, the decision between science and engineering depends largely on what stage of a project you are interested in, as befitting the specific skillset of each discipline. For science-based exploration, you'll be working on the early, pre-feasibility stage of a project. This means a lot of field-based work involving geophysical surveys, soil, lake, till, and hydrogeochemical sampling, reconnaissance and trench mapping, and RC and diamond drilling. There will be a lot of data analysis, GIS work, modelling, etc. You will 'discover' the deposit through this process.

    Loosely, once a deposit has been discovered and a securities-approved estimation is made, the project goes into the feasibility stage at which point engineering concerns usually take over. Why? They need to determine the mine type; they need to create a pit or stope design; they need to account for geotechnical data gathered during the infill drilling program, or perhaps employ underground drilling from an exploration drift, or a < 25 m surficial infill.

    Superficially, perhaps you should ask yourself if you're more interested in discovering a deposit or figuring out how to exploit that deposit.
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  5. #4  
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    Thank you for your responses. The mineral exploration is what's appealing to me, so a masters degree in geology seems like the best option. Though today I found out that I can use the courses in the geoengineering program and take out a bachelors in geology, so that would mean that I would get a bachelors in geology and a master of science in engineering with speciality in geoscience/ore geology, but then maybe it's better to go for the masters degree in geology instead if mineral exploration is what I want to work with?
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