Environmental Science Degrees

Careers in Environmental Science

What is an Environmental Science Degree?

Would you rather take a hike through the woods while taking in nature's magnificent beauty? Or would you rather drive along the highway while carelessly throwing your trash out the window? If you chose the latter of the two, an environmental science degree is probably not the right choice for you. An environmental scientist uses their deep knowledge of natural and environmental science to identify problems, suggest improvements, or even find solutions that help preserve our environment.

The central focus of environmental scientist's work is to protect the environment from degradation, implement conservation, recycling, and replenishment. Environmental scientists execute those initiatives in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Monitoring waste disposal sites
  • Preserve water supplies
  • Reclaim contaminated land and water
  • Write risk assessments
  • Predict the likely affect of construction and other changes
  • Write technical proposals
  • Give presentations to managers and regulators

For entry-level employees, most of their time is spent in the field. More seasoned environmental scientists dedicate the majority of their time in office or in a laboratory. Time spent in the field can be physically demanding, and it may also be any type of weather while you're out there. Traveling is often necessary for environmental scientists to meet with clients or to research new eco systems.

Since environmental scientists usually work as part of a team, they must have strong communication skills—both written and oral—coupled with proficient computer skills.Environmental scientists must write technical reports, proposals, and use the computer to create computer modeling, data analysis and integration, digital mapping, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems.

How can I get an Environmental Science Degree?

To help your opportunities in becoming an environmental scientist, a bachelor's degree in earth science is required—even for entry-level positions.Most companies prefer to hire candidates that have a master's degree in environmental science or natural science, as these candidates are much more knowledgeable in their specific field. Other degrees that are generally accepted when applying for environmental scientist positions include degrees in biology, chemistry, physics, or geosciences.However, candidates with a degree in one of those fields often need related work experience to be considered.

The coursework a student enrolled in an environmental science degree program can expect are:

  • Data analysis
  • Physical geography
  • Hydrology
  • Hazardous waste management
  • Environmental legislation
  • Chemistry
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Geologic logging
  • Other helpful courses to consider include:
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Economics

Luckily, the job outlook for environmental scientists is expected to grow faster than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment outlook may increase by as much as 28% through 2018.

If you have a passion for our environment and are interested in dedicated your life's work to preserving and maintaining the quality of our planet, then consider enrolling in an environmental science degree today!

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