What can you do with an environmental science degree?

Students sitting outside on Lancaster University campus

Environmental science is the study of the natural world around us, and works to solve its issues. This field integrates the principles of subjects such as biology, geology, oceanography, zoology and many more types of science, in order to inform our understanding of the Earth’s climate.

Careers in the environmental science sector include conservation, sustainability, research and education. In our modern world, this is an increasingly important field of study, and one that continually demands more and more jobs all over the world.

What skills will I develop from an environmental science degree?

Studying environmental science at university will give you a lot of key knowledge about the field, not to mention the expertise needed to pursue a variety of important and engaging career roles. As with any degree, it will also give you the opportunity to develop a number of essential employability traits and professional skills, including:

  • problem-solving and thinking creatively
  • forming practical scientific arguments from a number of different perspectives
  • gathering, analysing and reporting on complex environmental data
  • analysing environmental data, most likely in a laboratory setting
  • effectively communicating through written and verbal assessments
  • working flexibly in all kinds of environments, including in the field
  • planning and managing your own time and group projects
  • working as part of a team on projects, as well as independently

All of the above will aid you in your future career or further study, and contribute to you becoming a brilliant candidate for any job – especially one in the environmental science sector. Additionally, choosing to study this degree abroad can also give you many versatile life skills due to the exposure to new cultures and the need to adapt to learning in a new style and surroundings.

What jobs can I get with an environmental science degree?

As previously mentioned, careers in environmental science are increasingly in demand, meaning that graduates in this field are highly sought-after. Many jobs in this field are innovating new methods of environmental management, as well as playing crucial roles in everyday society and the wider fight against climate change.

Each job opportunity in this field comes with its own need for specialised skills and knowledge, which is why any good environmental science degree will often incorporate opt-in modules, so students can begin choosing their path from the start of their university studies. For a general idea of the specific job roles you could land after studying this degree, you can read our environmental science career list of examples here:

  • Commercial horticulturist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Toxicologist
  • Wastewater and stormwater management officer

With such a broad range of careers at your fingertips, you must consider your personal interests when you think about choosing the path you want to take. If you are passionate about tackling the current climate crisis, for instance, you can channel this into seeking a climate-centric role, whether it be in politics, research or developing solutions. Your choice of career should also be informed by your specific skillset and personal values, so you will be suited to your role and excel professionally.

What to do after an environmental science degree?

Upon finishing and graduating from your environmental science degree, alongside the opportunity to move straight into a career role, you will have a healthy range of alternative options when it comes to choosing what to do next. Some of these include:

Further study

Second and even third degree options will allow you to dive even deeper into the subject you love, and give you a chance to gain further exposure to the career industry of your choice. Environmental science postgraduate degrees offer students a more thorough understanding of their field, and can open doors to more senior employment opportunities with higher pay and more responsibility.

Research

Pursuing a research project or position is often a popular next move for an environmental science graduate – this is because of the field’s innovative nature. Through research, you can work on something you are passionate about, and even access further employment opportunities by building your experience. As an already impressive candidate, you can become an expert in your specialisation through field-based research.

Work placement

Industry-focused internships are a great way to gain real life working experience and get to know the field first hand. Depending on the company they could be long- or short-term, and offer a fantastic networking opportunity – preparing you with everything you will need to successfully shape your career. This can be a good option for candidates who want to see what’s out there, or want to build their CV between studying ventures.

Since there are many different areas of environmental science to specialise in, all of the above options will help in furthering your knowledge and boosting your employability by making you an adaptable, well-rounded graduate. The more you can study and gain real-life experience of the career you want to pursue, the more appealing you will be to prospective employers.

Study environmental science in the UK

Studying at university in the UK is a unique educational experience. Boasting some of the world’s best universities, the country is renowned for its education system, as one of the oldest in the world, with prestigious teaching and research practises. Lancaster University, one of the UK’s top 15 universities (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022), offers a range of established environmental science degrees that would impress employers around the world.

International students can access the opportunity to study environmental science here through Lancaster University International Study Centre. Offering preparational programmes, such as the International Foundation Year in Life Sciences, the Centre is dedicated to giving you the tools you will need to thrive in an environmental science degree at Lancaster University. You can gain relevant academic context through a curriculum tailored to you, as well as improving your English language level and study skills, ahead of starting your undergraduate studies in a brand new country.