Environmental Science: A Career of the Present and the Future

Global Ed

While selecting a subject to study, apart from the fact that you have interest in the area, there’s an important aspect to consider. You need to know what your career would look like and the opportunities that exist in the domain.

Here’s a field that’s gaining significance and will continue to do so – Environmental Science.

What is Environmental Science?

Identified as a field that will build the careers of the future, Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary subject. It combines aspects of different scientific disciplines like biology, physics, mathematics, zoology and chemistry to study the environment. The discipline not only seeks to understand the environment but also find solutions to the many environmental problems that the world is battling today or may become evident in the near future.

Overtime, the subject has not only attracted the attention of students who seek to protect the ecosystems, check pollution, and study marine or wildlife but also those who wish to use their expertise to improve the lives of the general public by concentrating on topics like climate change, public health, or waste management. Environmental Science graduates often prefer green jobs and pursue careers in academics by specializing in a particular aspect of the discipline. However, many are also absorbed instate and local governments, as well as the private sector.

Careers in Environmental Science

Jobs dealing with environmental protection certainly rank high among Environmental Science graduates. However, there are jobs that involve looking for synergies between environment protection programs and business’ that seek to use the former for human progress and to generate profit. Hence, understanding and balancing the needs of different parties is also a role an Environmental Science researcher could take up. Below is a list of popular opportunities that graduates in the field can pursue.

Environmental and ConservationScientists

Environmental Science graduates can pursue further studies and specialise in either the general science or a particular sub-field like conservation. The job of the former involves broader study and work on issues related with air, water and soil. Whereas, a Conservation Scientist often works on land use and conservation of related natural resources like wood. Universities, research institutions, government and local environmental offices, as well as banks, insurance companies and investigators that deal with environmental issues can employ them.

Marine biologist

Marine biologist study and work on topics related to the complex link between humans, earth, oceans and atmosphere. They can be involved in academic research, consulting, and policy making in the government or the private sector. Marine biologist specialise on different topics related to marine life and environment such as marine pollution, fishing management, reef restoration, among others.

Environmental engineer

Environmental Engineers work on innovating and developing technology or other mechanisms to protect the environment from degradation. They solve environmental problems by suggesting technical solutions. Their work can deal with existing issues like eliminating floods, managing wastes, minimizing environmental impact due to urbanization. They can be employed in both the government and the private sector.

Environmental Consultant/Advisor

Environmental Consultants and Advisors work for their clients in the public or private sector, by providing them expert assessment or advise to diminish environmental damage while undertaking a proposed project. Their job is often to strike a balance so that the interests of all the parties are looked into. They can be employed on a contractual basis and can have a specialization for which their expertise is sought.

Environmental Lawyers, Activists and Writers

Considering environmental study is related to a number of fields including social issues, law as well as technology, those who study the discipline sometimes choose othercareers while continuing to work on the subject of environment. Lawyers trained in environmental law are often in high demand. They are trained to analyses environmental issues from a legal point of view. Such lawyers may also sometimes study environmental sciences to understand the subject better. In the same way, there are environmental writers and activists who work for the non-governmental sector and charities to draw the attention of government and public to pressing issues.

To prepare themselves for these careers, students can seek the help of different universities. The following section provides QS World University Rankings for Environmental Sciences and also lists the particular sub-fields the universities offer.

Top Ten Universities

1. Harvard University
Cambridge,United States

The university offers Environmental Science and Engineering undergraduate and graduate programs. Harvard emphasizes that the goal of the program is to “understand, predict and respond to human-induced environmental change.”

2. Stanford University
Stanford,United States

The School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences at Stanford offers undergraduate and graduate courses in Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Energy Resources Engineering, and Earth System Science. The university also has three interdisciplinary programs on Earth Systems, Environment and Resources and Sustainability, and Science Practice Program.

3.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Cambridge,United States

MIT’s Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department offers various courses on Geology, Geophysics and Planetary Science. Moreover, it also has an exceptional Civil and Environmental Engineering degree.

4.University of Oxford
Oxford,United Kingdom

The university offers undergraduate and graduate courses in Environmental Change and Management, Environment Sustainability and Governance, among other sub-fields of the broader discipline of Environmental Science.

5.University of Cambridge
Cambridge,United Kingdom

Cambridge’s department of Earth Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Policy and Energy, and Natural Resource Governance.

6.Wageningen University & Research

The university offers masters in Environmental Science, with specializations ranging from EnvironmentalPolicy and Economics, and Environmental Technology to Human-Environmental Systems.

7.ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

The institute offers a graduate program, which particularly focuses on Atmosphere and Climate, Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics Ecology and Evolution.

8.Tsinghua University
Beijing,China (Mainland)

The university offers a masters degree in Environment, which can be either taken in English or Chinese. There is a special course designed for international students that deals with various subjects including Waste Disposal Technology and Pollution.

9.University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Berkeley,United States

The Environmental Science, Policy, and Management Department offers a graduate program in Environmental Sciences that focuses of a range of subjects including biology, ecology, chemistry, toxicology, as well as economics, and law.

10.Imperial College London
London,United Kingdom

Imperial offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Ecology and Environmental Biology, Environmental Technology as well as Environmental science and engineering among other related courses.

Besides these universities there are a number of other universities that teach Environmental Science and a range of related subjects. Given the importance of the subject newer programs on Environmental Science may also be introduced in the coming years,

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