If you're committed to the idea of using your talents to benefit the cause of environmentalism, it's worth giving some thought to which degrees for environmentalists would be the most useful. Are you wondering which degrees feed into jobs that will truly make a difference in preserving the earth and maintaining livable conditions on it for future generations? Check out this list of 5 master's degrees that are most useful for environmentalists.
1. Master of Science in Environmental Sciences
This is a versatile degree that would help to qualify you for a broad range of excellent career opportunities in the public and private sectors. The coursework is likely to include a mix of foundational sciences including geology, geoscience, chemistry, biology and physics. It can encompass both laboratory and fieldwork, honing valuable skills that many environmentally conscious employers prioritize.
2. Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
This degree typically involves completing coursework in several scientific disciplines including biology, chemistry and geology. In an environmental engineering degree program, you'll typically gain a thorough understanding of soil science and in-depth familiarity with engineering principles. Environmentalists having analytical minds plus this degree can find rewarding work opportunities in the related fields of environmental engineering and environmental remediation.
3. Master of Laws in Environmental Law
Much of the pollution and related damage that has already been done to the earth is a direct result of inadequate public policy. Going forward, legal experts will be a crucial component of the fight to create a sustainable future for the earth and its inhabitants. Without effective laws in place to protect the earth, people will continue to pollute it for short-term profit while endangering it in the long term. Environmentalists are needed who will carry on this important work in courtrooms and governments around the world.
4. Master of Science in Geology, Earth Science or Geoscience
At the heart of environmentalism is the earth itself, so it only makes sense that it would be beneficial for an environmentalist to have an in-depth understanding of the earth sciences. Any of these degrees would be useful for environmentalists who wish to pursue a variety of earth-focused careers:
- Geoscientist — Geoscientists work for governments and organizations to observe, test, collect samples, record their observations, analyze data, compile reports and communicate with colleagues, engineers, policy makers and others on earth-related topics.
- Hydrologist — An expert who specializes in researching and understanding water resources and applying that knowledge to help governments or organizations meet their communities' water-related needs
- Geological Engineer — Environmentalists working in this occupation often find employment in the field of environmental remediation.
5. Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture
Conventional methods of agriculture are chemically polluting the earth, contaminating soil and groundwater and endangering the balance of the ecosystem. To feed, clothe and equip the world in a sustainable way, many more experts are needed who will specialize in the science of organic agriculture. If this is a field that interests you, it's worthwhile to check out the US Department of Agriculture's recommendations for graduate degree programs in sustainable agriculture.
Employers are adding green jobs to the US economy at a fast pace. Many of these jobs pay well and offer a tremendous level of satisfaction, but they do require significant preparation in the form of academic credentials. If you want to make your passion for environmentalism the focus of your future career, it's worth considering these 5 graduate degrees for environmentalists.