Why you should study geophysics at Scripps

There are two parts to this--why you should go to graduate school in geophysics and why you should go to Scripps.

Why you should go to graduate school in geophysics

Sure, you're probably ready for a break after college. You're a good student and you've worked hard to get your Physics or Earth Science degree. Although you love science, you've heard that jobs are scarce. So it's tempting to take that programming job, buy a nice car and start paying off your loans. Many software companies are hiring people right now at attractive salaries. But, if you go this route, you'll regret it. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but someday you'll regret it and find yourself asking: Why didn't I go to graduate school?

Because you'll get tired of that programming job. You'll burn out after endless 16 hours days of hacking. You will not learn anything important. You and your colleagues will not age well. You will become a boring person and people will avoid you at parties. Any skills you obtain will be obsolete in six months.

You could be going to graduate school in geophysics! Graduate school is just like college--only better. You only take classes for a year or two and then you work on your own research project. You're part of a community of scientists that are engaged in a grand adventure, probing the nature of our planet. It's creative, stimulating work, and you are acquiring skills that will serve you well in the future.

Sure, it doesn't pay as well as a real job. But you'll have more money than you had in college. Most geophysics graduate programs waive tuition and pay enough to live on. You will have flexible hours and the opportunity to do field work and attend conferences in exotic locations. Science is fun! Why rush to the job market and a 30 year mortgage when you can extend your college years and develop a career that will engage and challenge you the rest of your life.

The job market in geophysics is better than in straight physics, and graduates from the top programs are getting good jobs, many of them in academia and government and private labs.

Why you should go to Scripps

Scripps has a great geophysics program, but there are other universities that have first-rate programs. Why should you choose Scripps?

From my perspective as both a former graduate student (1981-1986) and current faculty member, let me list some of the reasons:

Finally, forget about all the reasons above. Maybe you will realize after five years that graduate school, for you, has been a complete waste of time. Well, at least if you go to Scripps you will have wasted five years of your life in a fun place compared to some of your other choices....

David Sandwell, our surfing professor, catches a wave at Blacks.

Geophysics Graduate Program

Info on Scripps Graduate Department

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