Careers for graduates with a degree in environmental studies, like the environment itself, are literally all around us. Many careers for graduates with a degree in environmental studies are focused on insuring that elements in our environment enrich rather than endanger life. Offered by both governments and private industry, careers for graduates with a degree in environmental studies can be found in all fifty states and world wide. For most graduates with a degree in environmental studies there are plenty of careers available, graduates need only grapple with the variety of these and other attractive alternatives.
Government Careers When the government established the Environmental Protection Agency it helped to draw national attention to the need for all Americans to become more alert to how we use and abuse our supply of water, air, natural resources and wildlife. The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency also spawned literally thousands of careers for graduates willing to pursue and complete a degree in environmental studies.
Today careers for graduates with a degree in environmental studies with the Environmental Protection Agency call upon graduates to develop and enforce environmental regulations across the nation. Many graduates are called upon to analyze environmental changes that may effect the well being of Americans and to create the kind of public policy that will keep the total environment healthy and safe.
Within the federal government many other agencies or bureaus rely on graduates with a degree environmental studies to complete their missions. The Department of the Interior, Health and Human Services, The Energy Department, the Army Corps of Engineers and many others all benefit from the academic assistance of graduates with a degree in environmental studies.
During two recent national catastrophes the importance of graduates with a degree in environmental studies was highlighted. In the aftermath of both Hurricane Katrina and the terrorists bombings of 9/11 Americans turned to many different government agencies for help. Among those who came to the assistance of these very different types of victims were graduates with a degree in environmental studies whose career work includes helping to guide the rebuilding of areas affected by environmental disasters.
Federal government careers for graduates with a degree in environmental studies are often nearly duplicated at the state and sometimes municipal government level. Graduates with a degree in environmental studies seeking employment that allows them to stay “at home” and use their expertise will find an abundance of state environmental positions for which they qualify.
Private Industry The amount of legislation currently regulating what private industry can and cannot do in the context of the environment is voluminous and only likely to continue to grow. Industries need to be in compliance with federal and state environmental requirements having to do with air quality, energy use, water quality, land use, recyclable resources, the list goes on. For this reason many industrial concerns provide careers for graduates with a degree in environmental studies so that the legal requirements will be met and the industry can operate efficiently within the legal guidelines.
Graduates with a degree in environmental studies have been trained in conflict resolution and problem solving. They are aware of environmental options and the need to accommodate industry needs to government rules. Their degree work has prepared them to develop reasonable plans for industry within the framework of environmental law. The academic background of graduates with a degree in environmental studies makes them a much sought after element to serve on an industrial management team.
Non-Profits For those graduates with a degree in environmental studies who have sound communication skills, careers exist within many non-profit environmentalist groups. In the United States there are many national and local environmentalist causes all needing writers and speakers who can publicize their cause. Obviously those writers and speakers who are graduates with a degree in environmental studies can speak with academic authority as well as personal passion and concern.
For graduates with a degree in environment studies who have a bit of the crusader in them and enjoy public speaking, there are positions as groups spokespersons and more legally attuned positions as group lobbyists and publicists. The size of many of these environmental groups is considerable and their funding sufficient to provide a healthy contract for graduates with a degree in environmental studies who don’t mind traveling, fluctuating work hours, working with a group plan and conducting hours of interpersonal events.
Environmental Educators Some graduates with a degree in environmental studies have a desire to teach what they know to children, adults, the general public. Teaching positions, whether they are found within government agencies or non-profits require some teacher training and and relaxed presentation capabilities. Teaching jobs are available under government auspices in public schools and library programs. Most national and state parks offer visitors education programs explaining their site. But most park education programs also offer environmental instruction about how park land is being used and preserved.
Beyond teaching within government operated programs, graduates with a degree in environmental studies will find a number of career openings for those who like to teach, at private summer camps, with the Boys and Girls Club of America and the YMCA. Large conservation and preservation groups like the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society also look for teachers with a degree in environmental studies to help them share an understanding of their work with young and old would be conservationists around the country. Teaching people of any age about how and why conservationists work to maintain wetlands and our beaches, find clean sources of energy, guard our air, water and natural resources from harmful pollutants are tasks shared by many organizations public and private and all require teachers with sound training, like graduates with a degree in environmental studies.
International Environmentalist For graduates with a degree in environmental studies with a yen for travel and adventure, there are careers available outside of the United States. Working with agencies from the United Nations and other international aid groups like Oxfam and the International Red Cross, graduates with a degree in environmental studies can put their understanding of managing conflicting needs and concerns to work for the good of others.
In third world nations there is constant conflict between the immediate needs of the people for the basics like food, water and shelter and the demands of the the long term goals of maintaining a hazard free and healthy environment. There are also conflicts between the desire to assist the development of local industry and the need to recognize the long term effects that uncontrolled industrialization can have on the land and its people. Graduates with a degree in environmental studies will find satisfying , if demanding, careers in working with local leaders and local industries to resolve land use and management disputes in ways that will address immediate needs without abandoning the protection of clean air, clean water and the preservation of natural resources. Graduates with a degree in environmental studies, working with local leadership, can make it possible to balance a healthy environment and a healthy economy
Graduates with a degree in environmental studies can also serve in branches of international relief organizations that respond to international crises such as severe drought, floods , catastrophic storms and epidemics. Helping local citizens to consider all aspects of their situation as they work for solutions that do not neglect the maintenance of clean water and air and reasoned use of natural resources can be a full time job for graduates with a degree in environmental studies
There are dangers involved in working in third world nations and of course the disruption of normal living that comes with constant travel. But graduates with a degree in environmental studies will find careers in third world nations to be both educational and inspirational.
Graduates with a degree in environmental studies step into an economic theater where performance must be limited by environmental concerns. Acid rain, global warming, ozone layers, dead seas all confront humanity in the immediate future. Graduates with a degree in environmental studies will find plenty of positions, public, private and non-profit, that will provide an opportunity to put degree work to the test of reality. For graduates with a degree in environmental studies the career search will truly involve mostly the narrowing of a large number of possibilities to the ones that are good matches for a person’s particular environmental interest and abilities. That’s a nice dilemma to have.