Is an Earth and Environmental Science Degree Worth It?
Climate change and environmental issues are hot-button topics today. The media is continuously battling between scaring the entire population and saying nothing new is happening. But politics aside, the changes to the environment are happening and, according to the scientific community, they’re pretty serious.
The biggest question is, “what can we do?” You’ve probably seen the articles saying we only have a certain number of years before we reach the point of no return. While that may or may not be the case, what better time than now to educate yourself and prepare to make a difference by becoming a champion of the environment?
Start with an environmental science degree and choose a future for yourself and generations to come.
Why is Environmental Science Important?
The human population is increasing worldwide, faster than ever before thanks to the use of technology and medicine at our disposal. This rapid growth, however, has created issues we never saw coming, (and some that we did.)
- The average temperature of the earth will become warmer.
- Warmer weather increased evaporation and precipitation, causing floods in some areas and droughts in others.
- Sea level will rise as glaciers and other ice melts.
- Crops that respond to increased carbon dioxide will thrive while other plants will struggle to produce.
Essentially, we are impacting the earth in ways that could have dire consequences. Environmental sciences help us understand the changes and work towards solutions.
Is Environmental Science a Good Major?
With that information, we feel it is pretty clear that, yes, environmental science is an excellent major. Earning a degree with a focus on the environment shows you are serious about making a difference and helping others, including those yet to be born.
The world needs people who are ready to gather the data, translate the knowledge, and guide others along the appropriate course. The demand for environmental science major graduates transcends a variety of fields.
Government positions, businesses, social impacts, and more require individuals with intimate knowledge of environmental sciences.
To further show the opportunities available, we looked into research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to provide you with the information needed to decide your future. Review the job titles, daily tasks, required skills, and career outlooks for environmental science management and leadership positions to see if this is the education path you want to take.
Table of Contents
- Careers for Earning a degree in Environmental Science
- Job Titles You May See
- Environmental Science Coursework
- Tasks You’ll Likely Perform
- Career Outlook
- Bottom Line
Careers for Earning a degree in Environmental Sciences
Employers looking for individuals with a background in environmental sciences want people willing to ask the hard questions. You need to be a critical thinker and an efficient problem solver. Communication is also essential so you can explain both the problem and the solution to those without your experience and knowledge.
Job Titles You May See
As with any degree, environmental sciences graduates have opportunities in management roles or executive leadership. Whatever your title, you’ll be working with others to realign practices in a way that will benefit the earth and our future.
Jobs directly related include:
- Environmental consultant
- Environmental education officer
- Environmental engineer
- Recycling officer
- Sustainability consultant
- Environmental manager
Careers involving environmental science include:
- Environmental scientist
- Environmental lawyer
- Conservation scientist
- Environmental engineer
- Environmental health practitioner
Of course, these are not the only options, just a sample to show you the possibilities with a degree in environmental science. Flexibility and a general understanding of the sciences will make you an excellent candidate for most environmental science careers.
Environmental Science MBA Coursework
While we want you to be excited about a future in environmental science, you should be aware of the coursework required.
Unity College has an excellent environmental science program that challenges you mentally while bringing you a hands-on experience: You will lay a foundation of knowledge from molecules to mountain ranges. You will become familiar with Earth’s systems and how time and chemistry play a part.
Studying the latest field research will improve your quantitative skills. You will work both in a laboratory setting, as well as out in the field, to experience the environmental sciences. The skills you learn in an undergraduate environmental science program can also easily be translated and utilized in a graduate school setting.
While the coursework will be more rigorous, there are plenty of opportunities to develop and advance your career within the environmental science and sustainability industries.
Tasks You’ll Likely Perform
Your day-to-day responsibilities will vary depending on the company and your position. But some tasks you can expect include:
- Communicate with businesses, governments, and the general public on health risks and environmental hazards
- Selecting the best data collection methods for research projects
- Analyzing samples of soil, water, food, air, and other environmental materials
- Developing strategies to avoid, limit, or resolve environmental problems
- Interpret data from research and sample findings
- Evaluate the significance of an environmental hazard
- Research the environmental impact of projects
Environmental sciences combine natural science and social science. You must not only evaluate data and interpret it but think critically for a solution.
The need for those familiar with environmental studies is only going to grow. Within the next ten years, we expect an 11 percent increase, which is faster than average. The job market has a lot to offer because of the vast options within the interdisciplinary degree.
Competition can be fierce, but opportunities are out there. Nearly 90,000 jobs are waiting for new graduates to better the world. Public interest in the hazards facing our environment has accelerated the need for these positions.
The median pay in this field is $69,400 per year, with the highest ten percent earning more than $122,510.
The Bottom Line
If the world’s best scientists are correct, we are going to see drastic changes in the environment in the near future. These changes will affect our health, agriculture, transportation, and quality of life.
Arming ourselves with tools and the knowledge needed to find solutions is our best bet. If you are considering investing yourself in the future of our planet, it is worth pursuing a degree in environmental science.