Students who pursue a degree in Environmental Studies may focus on environmental problems, the social context of such conflicts, policy issues, environmental planning, management, Earth or life sciences or another specialization. This education prepares graduates for a number of careers in the private, nonprofit and public sectors.
A degree in the subject prepares students to pursue many occupations. These may include careers as oceanographers, foresters, air pollution analysts, geochemists, zookeepers, water quality controllers, wastewater engineers, environmental journalists, soil scientists, horticulturists or ecologists, depending on the students’ specific areas of focus.
Students who focus on the planning aspects of the subject often find work as consultants with corporations, government agencies, banks, law firms, real estate development companies or nonprofit groups. Using the skills they gained in school, they may also sit on planning boards, committees or commissions, teach or work for market research companies.
Many students interested in the subject pursue a specialization in fishery and wildlife management. Upon graduation, they may find work in government agencies, wildlife ranges, consulting firms, nonprofit organizations, zoological parks, scientific foundations, timber companies or hunting and fishing clubs.
Students who focus on parks and outdoor recreation often pursue careers with the National Park Service, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, city, county or state parks, privately-owned facilities or resorts.
Forestry is another common focus of students pursuing degrees in Environmental Studies. Using the knowledge and skills they gained, they may pursue careers with nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, government agencies or timber companies. They may be tasked with the maintenance of forests and wildlife, the evaluation of wood or lumber requirements, the protection of watersheds or even the prevention of fires.
In the government sector, graduates may pursue work with a number of departments, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Transportation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Air Quality Planning or the Department of Natural Resources.
The diversity of opportunities available for students who pursue this degree is vast because the curriculum studied is often interdisciplinary. Graduates often leave school with a solid knowledge of the experimental sciences, including geology, physics, biology and chemistry, in addition to knowledge of the humanities, engineering and the social sciences. They may also have knowledge related to politics and urban studies. This prepares them to pursue a wide range of work finding practical solutions to environmental problems.