Studying Environmental Science: What is it like and where can it take you?

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Is Environmental Science a Good Major? With that information, we feel it is pretty clear that, yes, environmental science is an excellent major. Earning a degree with a focus on the environment shows you are serious about making a difference and helping others, including those yet to be born.

Is an Environmental Studies Degree Worth The Debt?

Water treatment plant and system operator

  • Median annual salary: $47,880
  • Job outlook in 10 years: -3%
  • Managing a system of machines and processes to transfer or treat water or wastewater — such is what water treatment plant and system operators do. Some have a bachelor’s in environmental science or a related field, while others have a high school diploma only. About 10,500 jobs for water treatment plant and system operators open yearly.

    is environmental science a good major

  • Median annual salary: $64,650
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 5%
  • Basically, what wildlife biologists specialize in is the study of animals and other wildlife as well as how they interact with their respective ecosystems. It’s not uncommon for wildlife biologists to work in offices, laboratories and outdoors, too. Environmental science majors may apply for entry-level jobs — higher-level ones usually require a master’s.

  • Median annual salary: $63,350
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 5%
  • The primary duty of science editors is to put together textbooks or academic journals consisting of various information about science, from studies, researches to discoveries. Environmental science majors who would like to work as science editors must have excellent organizational, research, writing and editing skills in order to succeed.

  • Median annual salary: $49,470
  • Job outlook in 10 years: 18%
  • As environmental planners, bachelor’s in environmental science holders are responsible for analyzing infrastructure to determine their potential impact on the environment. Also, they are tasked with looking for ways to mitigate any impact while abiding by state and federal environmental regulations and procedures in the process.

    Besides being a part of the workforce after earning their degrees, some environmental science majors also attend graduate schools to obtain a master’s degree — either in environmental science in order to have access to higher-level or higher-paying jobs or another discipline of study, using a bachelor’s in environmental science as a stepping stone.

    Just in case you are planning on pursuing a master’s in environmental science, the following are just some of the jobs that your resume can make you highly qualified for:

  • Atmospheric scientist
  • Climate change specialist
  • College professor
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Geoscientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Land surveyor
  • Research technician
  • Wildlife biologist
  • is environmental science a good major

    Best Schools for Environmental Science Majors

    Because environmental science is often considered a part of the liberal arts, it isn’t surprising why some of the best environmental science programs come from liberal arts schools or institutions offering liberal arts education. Many online colleges and universities also offer good environmental science programs.

    If you want nothing but the best environmental science degree, look no further — some of the best come from highly ranked colleges and universities.

    Many are Ivy Leagues, while there are also those with Ivy-like statuses.

    As mentioned earlier, not a lot of institutions have environmental science degrees given the fact that the discipline of study is fairly new. But fret not because US News has shortlisted schools offering some of the most impressive environmental science degrees, and they are the following:

    Best Schools for Environmental Science Majors

    Stanford University #1 in Environmental Science
    Pennsylvania State University – University Park #2 in Environmental Science
    University of California – Berkeley #2 in Environmental Science
    Columbia University #4 in Environmental Science
    Arizona State University #5 in Environmental Science
    California Institute of Technology #6 in Environmental Sciences
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology #7 in Environmental Sciences
    University of California – Davis #8 in Environmental Sciences
    University of Michigan – Ann Arbor #8 in Environmental Sciences
    Duke University #10 in Environmental Sciences
    Ohio State University #10 in Environmental Sciences

    Besides a traditional bachelor’s in environmental science, you may also choose to get your hands on an online degree in environmental science instead, which is more suitable for non-traditional students.

    But before deciding to take this route, make sure that you enroll only in an accredited online school.

    Environmental science is an interdisciplinary subject, so it will involve studying elements of biology, chemistry, physics, geography and social sciences; this can be a challenge as each of these fields requires different skills and knowledge. However, by combining an understanding of all of these areas, students are better able to study the environment from an integrated perspective.

    In a world where global warming, air pollution, and plastic waste are major topical issues, environmental science is becoming an increasingly valued and relevant degree. Although it is a relatively new field, it combines elements of the key traditional fields of chemistry and biology, and is widely recognised as a rigorous and academic degree. However, due to its newness, many people have questions about what studying environmental science is like and where it can lead. This article will answer these questions and a number of other common questions about environmental science.

    It is also common to do work placements or voluntary work as part of the degree; the environmental sector is extremely competitive, and work experience develops valuable skills which are invaluable when job hunting.

    Working as an environmental scientist or in a career directly related to the field may require further study, as their person specifications often require a high degree of specialisation. More information about top careers in environmental science can be found here.

    However, if you are happy with interdisciplinary study and you are committed to working in the environmental sector then environmental science might be a better option.


    Is it worth it to major in environmental science?

    Environmental science is a degree with excellent career prospects, as well as opportunities for further study – around a fifth of students go on to postgraduate study or research. This may also be necessary if you wish to pursue a career in law or graduate education.

    Is environmental science an easy major?

    Despite environmental science’s reputation, it’s still a comparatively challenging major that requires an understanding of core sciences such as chemistry, physics, biology, and geology, as well as scientific methodology. Environmental science is popular with students who enjoy learning outside of the classroom.

    What jobs can you get with a environmental science degree?

    10 careers you can have with an environmental science degree
    • Agricultural scientist. …
    • Environmental consultant. …
    • Air pollution analyst. …
    • Natural resource manager. …
    • Recycling officer. …
    • Environmental educator. …
    • Nature conservation officer. …
    • Environmental engineer.

    Is there a demand for environmental science majors?

    Job Outlook

    Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 9,400 openings for environmental scientists and specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

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