More and more people are becoming aware of ecological issues, and a lot of people are looking to gain a deeper understanding of these problems and their relationship to the environment and our society.
If you’re passionate about making a positive impact on our planet, diving deeper into environmental studies is an excellent choice. Here, your eagerness to learn more about how our environment and societies are intertwined will be satisfied.
You’ll learn about ecosystems, conservation, renewable resources, and the connections between humans and nature that create a delicate balance that sustains life on Earth. Here’s everything you need to know about this degree:
What is a Degree in Environmental Studies?
A degree in environmental studies is a multidisciplinary degree that combines science, social sciences, and the humanities. By studying natural sciences like biology, chemistry, and ecology, you’ll gain insights into the intricate web of life on Earth. Simultaneously, you’ll explore the social, political, and economic dimensions of ecological challenges.
How do human activities impact the environment? What are the underlying causes of environmental degradation? What are the effects of climate change? What is the role of local environmental organizations in solving environmental problems? These questions will drive your exploration.
Imagine stepping out of the classroom and into the field, where your studies become hands-on experiences. You’ll conduct experiments, collect data, and analyze samples in diverse natural settings. Whether it’s studying marine life in coastal regions, examining soil health in agricultural landscapes, or observing wildlife in national parks, the fieldwork will immerse you in real-world applications.
Moreover, this degree cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills in environmental studies students. You’ll engage in thought-provoking discussions, analyze complex data, and develop innovative strategies for sustainable living. Through internships, research projects, and community initiatives, you’ll actively contribute to addressing ecological challenges within your local community and beyond.
After finishing this degree, there are a wide range of career opportunities, from environmental advocacy and policy-making to conservation and sustainable development. Are you ready to join the next generation of environmental leaders and shape a greener future for all?
What are the Benefits of a Degree in Environmental Science or Studies?
Similar to other degrees, this one also offers a range of unique benefits. Let’s explore the key advantages this academic path presents:
- Diverse Career Opportunities: You can pursue exciting paths in environmental consulting, government agencies, non-profit organizations, research institutions, and private companies.
- Making a Meaningful Impact: One of the most rewarding aspects of this degree is the opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet. Your work can create a lasting and meaningful difference for current and future generations.
- Interdisciplinary Approach: This is an interdisciplinary field that integrates knowledge from multiple disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, geology, and social sciences like political science.
- Personal Growth and Global Perspective: Studying this field fosters personal growth by cultivating a deeper appreciation for the natural world and our interconnectedness with it.
Career Paths for Graduates of a Degree in Environmental Studies: What Kind of Job Can I Get?
After graduating with this degree, there are a lot of opportunities that await you. However, if you’re looking for the most common paths, we’ve listed them below:
Are you someone who loves the idea of being an environmental detective, solving puzzles that help protect our planet? Well, the role of an Environmental Consultant might just be your calling. These professionals work hand in hand with businesses, industries, and government agencies to uncover the impact of human activities on the environment and how to protect natural resources.
Through field surveys and data analysis, they assess the health of ecosystems and identify potential risks. Armed with this knowledge, they collaborate with stakeholders to develop strategies that promote sustainability.
From crafting waste management plans to implementing pollution reduction measures, Environmental Consultants are the driving force behind finding eco-friendly solutions. These solutions strike a balance between human needs and the well-being of our planet.
Imagine a world where you could be a champion for wildlife and protect their natural homes. That’s the role of a conservation scientist. These passionate individuals dedicate their lives to studying and safeguarding ecosystems and the animals that call them home.
Through scientific research and fieldwork, conservation scientists analyze the threats to biodiversity and develop plans to protect it. They closely monitor wildlife populations, track endangered species, and restore damaged habitats.
By collaborating with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and local communities, these scientists create conservation strategies that ensure the long-term survival of plants and animals. If you’re someone who wants to make a difference in the preservation of our planet’s natural wonders, a career as a conservation scientist is an exciting path to pursue.
Environmental Policy Analyst
Environmental policy analysts examine existing environmental policies, evaluate their effectiveness, and propose new regulations to address pressing issues. By conducting extensive research and data analysis, they provide policymakers with evidence-based recommendations.
Environmental policy analysts consider a wide range of factors, such as economic feasibility, environmental impact, and social equity, when developing policy proposals. Their work directly influences the creation of sustainable policies that promote a greener and more equitable future for all.
If you’re passionate about making a positive impact on the environment through policy change, a career as an Environmental Policy Analyst might be the path to follow.
Job Outlook After Completing a Degree in Environmental Studies
The job outlook for graduates is average. With increasing awareness of environmental issues, there is a growing demand for professionals who can address environmental challenges and contribute to sustainable solutions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth from 2021 to 2031 is 5%, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Here’s a screenshot from the BLS site:
Average Salary of Environmental Studies Graduates
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for graduates is $48,176 per year. For entry-level jobs, you can expect salaries around $32,000 per year. However, if you’re looking for senior positions, the salaries can be as much as $72,000 per year.
Job Satisfaction of Environmental Studies Graduates
For this section, we chose the career of an environmental consultant as our basis since it is the most common path for graduates. According to CareerExplorer, environmental consultants are happy with their salaries.
However, they found that their job wasn’t as meaningful. For salary satisfaction, they rated the career 3 out of 5 stars,while 2.8 out of 5 stars were given for its meaningfulness.
Here are screenshots from CareerExplorer:
Real World Examples: How Do Environmental Studies Degree Graduates Fare in the Real World?
To understand the real-world impact of this degree, let’s explore a few examples:
Thoughts on Environmental Studies Major in Sustainability Track?
Here’s a comment from this thread about the commenter’s thoughts on environmental science and studies degrees:
Entry Level job for BA in Environmental Studies
If you’re someone with this degree and are looking for an entry-level job, this thread might just be for you. Check out the post and the comments of fellow Redditors here:
For the next two threads, they mainly talk about whether taking this degree is still worth it. Check out the comments of some Redditors in these threads:
Environmental Studies Program Worth it?
Is the Environmental Studies Majors good? Or are there better options
Life after a BS in this field?
So, if you’re wondering about what happens after a taking this degree, here’s a thread that talks about it:
Is a Degree in Environmental Studies for You?
Determining whether this degree is the right fit for you requires careful consideration. Evaluate your interests, strengths, and career aspirations. Here’s a checklist you can use to know if you’re ready to take up the degree program:
|INTEREST: Do you have a genuine interest in the field of environmental studies?
|JOB PROSPECTS: Are there good job opportunities in this field?
|REQUIRED SKILLS: Do you possess the necessary skills to become a specialist?
|CURRICULUM: Is the curriculum something that you would like to pursue?
|COST: Will the cost of pursuing this degree fit within your budget?
|TIME COMMITMENT: Are you willing to commit the required amount of time to complete this degree program?
|PREREQUISITES: Have you completed the prerequisite courses necessary for this program?
|ACCREDITATION: Is the program accredited by the relevant authorities?
|FACULTY: Do you believe the quality of the faculty teaching the program is satisfactory?
|CAREER GOALS: Does obtaining this degree align with your long-term career goals?
Choosing the Best School for Your Degree in Environmental Studies
When choosing a school for your bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, there are some factors you need to consider. This includes curriculum, accreditation, and faculty quality. You need to look for a school that can offer hands-on learning opportunities and access to internships with their degree programs.
Knowing the curriculum for the degree before enrolling is important. This allows you to know what subjects you’ll be able to take and which specializations are available for you.
In addition, it also helps you to carefully tailor the course you’re taking, which means you’ll get to pick the subjects that perfectly align with your interests.
Most schools display their curriculum for this degree online. So, you might want to check out their site to learn more. If you’re eyeing graduate school, you should also check if the school you picked offers these programs.
Another factor to consider is the accreditation of the school you’re going to. You’d want to pick schools with accreditation from reputable organizations. This means you’re getting into a school that has passed the rigorous requirements of accrediting organizations.
In addition, you also need to check out the faculty’s quality. A strong environmental studies department would consist of a team of environmental specialists with broad knowledge of its concepts. You’d also want to check out the credentials of the faculty to ensure that they really know what they’re teaching.
Cost of Education
The cost of education is another crucial factor that will affect your decision. If the school or university offers expensive courses but their faculty quality, accreditation, and curriculum are not up to your standards, then you should immediately cross that school off your list.
When deciding which school to pick, always ensure that the cost aligns with the curriculum offered, current accreditations, and faculty quality. This is to ensure that you get what you paid for.
Pros and Cons of a Degree in Environmental Studies
Considering pursuing this degree? Like any program, there are pros and cons to weigh before making a decision. Let’s explore the advantages and considerations associated with this field of study.
- With this degree, you have the opportunity to contribute to environmental conservation efforts and work towards a sustainable future.
- Graduates of this program can explore a wide range of career paths.
- This is a dynamic field with ongoing research and advancements. Pursuing this degree opens doors to a lifetime of learning and staying up-to-date with current ecological issues.
- While the demand for environmental professionals is growing, competition for positions can be intense.
- Some careers in the field of Environmental Studies may require working in challenging outdoor environments or dealing with hazardous materials.
- A potential con of pursuing this degree is the emotional toll it can take. The field often exposes you to the harsh realities of environmental degradation, such as witnessing habitat destruction, species extinction, or the consequences of pollution.
FAQs About the Degree in Environmental Studies
What are the admission requirements for a Degree in Environmental Studies?
Admission requirements vary between institutions. Generally, they include a high school diploma or equivalent, an application form, transcripts, and possibly a personal statement or letters of recommendation.
What is the difference between the degrees environmental sciences and environmental studies?
The Environmental Science degree focuses on the scientific aspects of the environment, exploring topics such as biology, chemistry, and geology. Environmental Studies, on the other hand, takes a broader interdisciplinary approach, encompassing social sciences, humanities, and policy perspectives to understand the complex relationships between humans and the environment.
Can I specialize in a specific area within Environmental Studies?
Yes, many programs offer specialization options, such as environmental policy, sustainability, conservation biology, or environmental education.
Can I pursue a Degree in Environmental Studies online?
Yes, several universities offer online programs in Environmental Studies, providing flexibility for those with other commitments.
Is a master’s degree necessary for a career in Environmental Studies?
While a master’s degree can enhance job prospects and provide specialized knowledge, it is not always required. It depends on the specific career path you wish to pursue.
What skills are important for success in the field of Environmental Studies?
Skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, communication, and collaboration are highly valuable in this field.
A degree in environmental studies offers a rich and rewarding educational experience, combining scientific knowledge, social awareness, and practical skills. If you are passionate about the environment, eager to contribute to sustainable solutions, and interested in interdisciplinary studies, this degree might be the perfect fit for you. Evaluate your personal goals, conduct thorough research, and consider the subjective degree ranker to make an informed decision about your academic and career path.
Salary | Score: 6/10
While starting salaries in this field may be relatively low for entry-level positions, the average salary is moderate. Fresh graduates can expect salaries ranging from $32,000 to $39,000 per year.
As you gain experience and progress in your career, the average salary for environmental scientists can reach around $48,176 per year, with senior positions potentially offering up to $72,000 per year. Considering these factors, I assigned a score of 6 out of 10 for salary.
Satisfaction | Score: 8/10
When it comes to job satisfaction, this field ranks well, earning a score of 8 out of 10. The field provides a sense of fulfillment, as individuals have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment and contribute to the advancement of sustainable practices. Many find joy in working towards a greener future and being part of the solution to environmental challenges.
Demand | Score: 5.5/10
Considering the growing awareness and significance of ecological issues, there is a steady demand for environmental scientists across various sectors. I assigned a score of 5.5 out of 10 for demand.
Job opportunities can be found in government agencies, consulting firms, non-profit organizations, and research institutions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for environmental scientists from 2021 to 2031 is 5%.
X-Factor | Score: 6/10
The X-Factor score of 6 out of 10 reflects the challenges and intricacies associated with this field Addressing environmental issues requires interdisciplinary approaches combining scientific research, policy frameworks, and public engagement.
Environmental scientists must navigate complex problems and find innovative solutions to effectively tackle environmental challenges.
Final Score for a Degree in Environmental Studies | Score: 6.375/10
Taking into account the individual scores for salary, satisfaction, demand, and the X-Factor, the final score for this degree is 6.375 out of 10. This degree offers a pathway to a career that contributes to environmental research, conservation efforts, and the promotion of sustainable practices.
If you have a passion for environmental issues and aspire to make a positive impact on our planet, pursuing this degree can be a rewarding choice.
Alternatives to a Degree in Environmental Studies
If you’re interested in related fields but want to explore alternative programs, here are some options to consider:
- Conservation Biology
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Policy and Management
- Renewable Energy Engineering
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Geology and Earth Sciences
- Marine Biology
- Environmental Economics
- Urban Planning and Sustainability