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Alternatives to wildlife ecology/biology

countryboy4lifecountryboy4life 11 replies7 threads Junior Member
I want to major in wildlife ecology but have heard that its very hard to find a job and the pay sucks. Are there any other alternative degrees that would lead me to studying environmental science or wildlife but I can actually get a job with? Ive been thinking about maybe doing environmental engineering or getting a business degree and working for an outdoor company such as The North Face but Im looking to get some more opinions.
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Replies to: Alternatives to wildlife ecology/biology

  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2255 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Great question. My son had the same concerns with Wildlife ecology/biology when he was going through the process. Others recommended Environmental Engineering, water management (Hydrology...called several different things at different schools, and Natural Resource Management. Good luck. It's hard.
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  • countryboy4lifecountryboy4life 11 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Do you know if the demand for natural resources is high and if there are many job opportunities? How competitive is the field? I can't seem to find any info on reddit.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    See if the following is this environmental studies information is helpful. See https://www.wpi.edu/student-experience/career-development/majors/career-outlook/environmental-sustainability-studies. Programs like this require a strong STEM background, but do offer employment and flexibility.

    As I live in Maine which is very involved in wildlife studies (1/2 of the undergraduate students transferred into U Maine) see https://umaine.edu/wle/positions-available/jobs-and-job-links/

    Just found this Wildlife job posting in Maine. One can see what they are looking for. I suggest the STEM route as there are a good deal of environmentally directed jobs which will still leave the door open for wildlife opportunities. See https://www.nrcm.org/about-nrcm/employment-opportunities/

    Pre-vet might be another way to go if this interests you. I suspect the real money in this area is attending to pets in urban areas and it does require additional years of study. Vets in Maine are often pulling bear cubs out of hibernation for checkups and assisting injured wildlife. For backup income, you take care of cats and dogs. Just locate in the right geographic areas. With climate change there is a constantly growing demand to monitor the health of moose, deer, bear, all kinds of birds. with the related insect explosions. By way of example, in Maine and lots of the country is deer tick populations have exploded and present a real health danger to humans as well as wildlife.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6667 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Many years ago I met someone who had majored in Environmental Sciences. He ended up working for the state in monitoring environmental quality. He told me however that many companies need to hire an environmental scientist to make sure that they are complying with environmental regulations. Please note that environmental sciences are not the same thing as environmental studies.

    I used to know someone who had been a forestry major. I didn't see him much because he was working for a logging company in northern British Columbia (he was Canadian). Apparently there are several types of forestry majors. One goes out in the forest and figures out where companies are going to cut down trees (which involves putting in temporary "roads" and other issues), where they are going to plant trees, and so on. Another type of forestry major works for the government parks department (this does not pay as well). Another studies forests in general (I am not sure how this type gets a job). I think that there is a fourth type but I don't remember what it is.

    Veterinary sciences is a tough route to take. Veterinary technicians do not make much money. To get a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is a path similar in cost and effort to medical school, but when you are done the pay is not as good. You do not make enough as a veterinarian to pay off your loans, which implies that to be a veterinarian you pretty much need to have parents who can foot the bill for four years of undergrad plus four years of veterinary school. If you can get out of veterinary school with no loans, then the job does pay enough to live well.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2255 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Check out SUNY ESF. You might be able to find some information there to help you.
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  • Luke493Luke493 7 replies4 threads New Member
    Perhaps consider a major in just general biology and then for grad school go into a more specific field? It would just ultimately give you a lot more breathing room
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