Wanting to go into a career where you can protect the environment is both noble and can be extremely profitable. As awareness about environmental issues increases, people who can fix those issues are going to find themselves in high demand. But if you want to save the environment, what’s the best choice in college major? Here are the top four options.
1. Environmental Science
It should go without saying that this is the number one degree if you want to work towards a greener Earth. An environmental science degree is very broad and covers many issues facing the environment today, including conservation, green energy, environmental policy and the impact humans have on the environment. Experts in environmental science are predicted to be in demand by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a growth rate of faster than average.
2. Conservation Biology
A major in conservation biology prepares students to take on the challenge of saving endangered species on the brink of extinction. You will learn about genetics, conservation history, conservation methods, ecology and the importance of biodiversity. You might work for various levels of government or private labs and non-profits. It’s also likely that you will specialize in a certain kind of problem or species—for example, working on restoring habitat that a specific species thrives in.
3. Environmental Law
Many law schools across the country offer law degrees with a specialty in environmental law. As an environmental lawyer, or even as an employee in a law office specializing in environmental law, you will work to protect the environment through the courts. This educational background will also serve you well if you want to go into politics and help draft pro-environmental legislation, either as a lobbyist or an elected official. While it can be hard to secure a job in this field—many environmental lawyers defend the people polluting the environment—patience, persistence, passion and as much hands-on experience as you can get will help you achieve your dream.
4. Electrical Engineering
Most engineering disciplines can have a positive impact on the environment, as you can work towards creating more energy-efficient architecture and systems. Electrical engineering is the study specifically of electronic systems—how they work and how to craft them. By getting an electrical engineering master’s degree, you will be in the unique position to create electric infrastructure that puts less of a strain on the environment or perhaps uses a different system of power altogether.
As environmental conservation becomes a more important issue, more and more college programs will be offered for students wanting to help protect the environment. There are any number of ways to protect the environment no matter what field you eventually go into, but obtaining a specific degree is the best way to find work and make a difference in scientific fields.
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2