Environmental Studies

What Can I Do With A Major In Environmental Studies?

First and foremost, pursuing a degree in environmental studies will help you learn how to change society and yourself to live more lightly on the earth. You can do this regardless of whether you choose to pursue an environmental career; however, there are many interesting and rewarding careers in environmental care.

Environmental professionals seek to understand the interdependence of earth and human systems so as to minimize the impacts of human actions and design an equitable and sustainable society that lives within the limits of the earth's systems. To do this, they pursue a wide range of human endeavors involving research, education, communications, public service and/or management. Many careers do not require a specific major but rather a wide range of skills-including skills in oral and written communication, research and analysis, time management, fundraising, financial management, and working with people. All careers benefit from a thoughtful consideration of ethics in public and private life. All these skills can be built while working toward a degree in environmental studies.

An advanced degree is important for some environmental careers, but many are open to the undergraduate. In any case, it is wise to work for a time between undergraduate and graduate school to help you better understand some of the skills needed and how you enjoy performing different types of tasks. This will help you focus on planning for an advanced degree. Internships also give you insight and experience which employers value.

A Sample of Related Occupations

  • Air Quality Specialist
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Environmental Compliance Officer
  • Environmental Impact Analyst
  • Environmental Writer
  • Journalist
  • Organic Food Grower
  • Researcher
  • Transportation Planner

Types of Employers

Private and Non-Profit Organizations

Chemical Manufacturers
Conservation Organizations
Environmental Consulting Firms
Environmental Public Relations Firm
Environmental Research Organizations
Film Makers
Food Manufacturers
Insurance Industry
Pharmaceutical Firms
Recycling Centers
Testing Labs
Travel and Tourism

Government Agencies

Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Food and Drug Administration
Forest Service
Federal/State/Local Park Services
Department of Interior
National Science Foundation
Natural Resource Conservation Service
Occupational Safety & Health Admin.
Peace Corps
Public Health Service
Soil & Water Conservation Districts
State/County Environmental Agencies
State/County Health Departments
Federal Environmental Protection Agency
Federal/State Fish and Wildlife Departments

Related Web Links

Professional Associations