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Should I major in Environmental Science and minor in biology or geology?

butterfly473butterfly473 5 replies2 threads New Member
So it's getting to the time when I need to decide my college plans. My plan for years now was to major in Environmental Science and to get a job in the quality/ conservation area. As of right now the plan is the major in environmental science with a concentration in environmental quality. While I love this Major and science in general I have seen many sources with conflicting opinions on wheather or not this degree is worth getting. While environmental science is a growing industry I'm beginning to wonder if it will be enough to get a job in an already competitive feild. This is why I'm also beginning to look into possibly having a minor in biology or geology to put an edge on. While I am not willing to pick a completely differnt major I am wondering if I need to get a little more specific. Any advice would be great. Side Note: Engineering or big math feilds are out of the question.
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Replies to: Should I major in Environmental Science and minor in biology or geology?

  • aquaptaquapt 2530 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure how much more marketable a minor in an adjacent science will make you. What could really add that desired edge would be a minor that imparts a real skill-set that's relevant in the environmental science field, particularly one in GIS. This is offered at a lot of schools - here's an arbitrarily-chosen example: https://gis.ucla.edu/students/minor
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3764 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Was going to say GIS also. Also take courses in data visualization.
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  • butterfly473butterfly473 5 replies2 threads New Member
    My school offers a GIS concentration I could take. Would that hurt my chances at jobs that are more related to conservation and environmental quality though?
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3764 replies14 threads Senior Member
    No, GIS would be a useful skill for those interested in conservation and environmental quality.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2988 replies14 threads Senior Member
    My school offers a GIS concentration I could take. Would that hurt my chances at jobs that are more related to conservation and environmental quality though?

    Not at all, in fact, every aspect of conservation has a spatial element to it, so GIS is a skill which is extremely important. I will add my voice to those who advise you to take GIS courses, or even a concentration.

    I would also propose that you take some courses in public policy. This is also important for anybody who wants to work in conservation and in environmental quality.
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  • butterfly473butterfly473 5 replies2 threads New Member
    MWolf wrote: »
    My school offers a GIS concentration I could take. Would that hurt my chances at jobs that are more related to conservation and environmental quality though?

    Not at all, in fact, every aspect of conservation has a spatial element to it, so GIS is a skill which is extremely important. I will add my voice to those who advise you to take GIS courses, or even a concentration.

    I would also propose that you take some courses in public policy. This is also important for anybody who wants to work in conservation and in environmental quality.

    Ok thanks for the insight I think I will be changing my concentration to GIS. GIS appears to be the only skill gained out of all 3 concentrations anyway because it's an actually skillset versus the going into more depth with environmental quality.
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  • mommyrocksmommyrocks 1222 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited August 11
    Your major is not nearly as important as you think it is. Most people do not even work in their major areas of study, and what we learn now becomes obsolete very quickly these days. Also, many people who work in conservation and environmental jobs have unrelated majors. Plan for lifelong learning of new topics and new skills, especially in the area of technology and computing.

    Just start with the Environmental Science major that interests you, and go after those summer internships and other real-world opportunities. If you discover gaps in your skills or knowledge along the way, you don't need a minor to fill them. You can take courses on Coursera or pursue certifications or perhaps find a class or two as electives that offer exactly what you need.

    Btw, the GIS concentration sounds fantastic -- that is a very useful skill to have. You can do a Google search for "how GIS is used in conservation" and "how GIS is used in environmental science" to give you some ideas of just how important that skill is. Sometimes having a technical skill that other job applicants don't have can be the difference in you getting the offer. Load up on any technical skills, because computers are used in more ways than you can imagine.
    edited August 11
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