Earning an environmental science degree allows you to work in a variety of sectors. You may find yourself working for industry, government regulators, or in research. You may find that most of your day is sitting in front of a computer, or that you spend a good deal of time outdoors. The field is very flexible, and there are many different options in what you can do with this degree.
Can You Do the Work?
An environmental science degree involves study in multiple disciplines. If you enjoy biology and chemistry and are comfortable with math, you will probably thrive in this environment. Although much of the work is science-based, you can expect to have some classes that cover basic law, communications, and statistics. The wide range of courses you take as earning this degree helps to prepare you for graduation. You will find that no matter how rigorous the coursework, you will need to learn a lot on the job. This is due to the many different areas that you may work in. You can explore some of the options available by pursuing internships while you are in school.
Paying for School
Paying for college is always a concern, and if you choose to work in environmental science you may worry about how you will manage it all. Working during school or the summers may be difficult due to required labs and internships, so even covering your day to day expenses can be a challenge. There are a variety of student loan options available for students seeking their undergraduate degrees. Federal student loans are backed by the federal government. There is a cap on how much you can borrow each year. Private student loans do not have this borrowing limit, which allows you to take out what you need for educational related expenses. It is important to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. Schools you are interested in attending can then put together a financial aid package for you. Reviewing these packages from each school can help you make your decision.
An environmental science degree will open many doors for you. Once you are in the field and find an area of interest that you particularly enjoy, you may find you want to return to school. Because environmental science is such a broad category, returning to school for a graduate degree is common. Earning a graduate degree allows you to specialize in the niche that you find most enjoyable. You will qualify for positions with higher compensation and more responsibility and may find yourself writing policy or managing research related to your field.
If returning to school does not sound appealing, there are still plenty of career opportunities available for individuals with environmental science degrees. The work allows for flexibility and the opportunity to follow your interests. If you were attracted to the major because of an affinity for wildlife, there are state and federal agencies that need employees just like you. If you would like to pursue a higher level of compensation, many companies need someone on staff to ensure they are following regulations with their work. Talking to others in the field, as well as exploring different internships while in school allows you to see the many options available.
Written By: Justine Weinger