Right well - there's been a few questions asked recently about Geology, job prospects etc. I may be in a position to shed a bit of light on some of these things, please feel free to message me if you want anything clarifying.
Started a Physics degree - after passing 1st year exams switched directly into the 2nd year of Earth Sciences at the same university (I found physics to be boring and with very little "application" of waht was being learnt).
Got a MEarth Sci 3 years later - went and started work for BT as a researcher (completely unrelated field, but a good job - a lot of employers just want a good degree from a good university)
After 2 years working for BT decided that industry wasn't for me went back to my original university to do a PhD (it was mere co-incidence that they'd put up the PhD grants by 100% in the 2 years I was away
Have just finished my PhD in seismology, and am no working as a seismology researcher at said university.
I'd say the following things:
Yes, Geology as a degree isn't regognised as what it is to the general public. When you say Geology people think of rocks - petrology. Many Geology departments and courses cover things well away from rocks. The list is pretty big; Geophysics, Geochemistry, meteorology, vulcanology, oceanography, seismology, cosmochemistry, paelentology, biogeochemistry, planetary formation, mineralogy, etc can all be covered in a Geology degree, and due to the range, people can get very different experiences of a degree from different universities (or even the same university). If you say Earth Sciences (or Earth and Planetary Sciences) rather than Geology, most people will ask "what's that then?". As a result you may have to work a little bit harder than, say, a Physics graduate, to demonstrate you're a scientist if you're looking for a science based general graduate job. Obviously this doesn't apply in the oil industry where they know what Geology means.
As far as specialised jobs for geophysicists away from oil - outside academia there aren't that many in the UK (inside academia you'll need a PhD and there aren't many either). There is a growing jobs market in insurance - determining natural hazards (in the UK mostly weather, away from the UK there may be other hazards such as seismic hazard etc) and the UK is a major world insurer. There are jobs in this in the UK, but if you're willing (or want) to move to America there are a lot more, although you may struggle to get a green card without a PhD.
Anyway I hope this helps people.