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Student Resources

Career Pathways

Choosing a career is tricky business. But it doesn't have to be tricky to learn about your path to a career. Here we learn about a few careers you may be interested in and how you could get there.

Scientific Researcher ( Biology, Zoology, Ecology)

It is recommended that you start early (as early as high school) and pursue scientific and environmental subjects as much as possible. A biology or scientific degree is considered essential and volunteering/expeditions is a great foot in the door. Unpaid work and shadowing other biologists is also a great initiative to get into this role. A great path guide can be found below.

Expedition/Volunteering Coordinator

While other careers on this page typically have a conventional route, an expedition/volunteering coordinator doesn't necessarily. Most recommend that you get an undergraduate degree in anything from Business Studies to Social Sciences, but a degree isn't necessarily the most important part of this role and isn't always needed. What is needed is experience: volunteer and take part in expeditions as much as you are able to deepen your understanding as to what is needed to organise such events. Some universities and colleges even run courses on Volunteer Management. Although a UK resource, this website is good for more info.

Marine Biology

As this is a competitive line of work, a relevant degree is considered essential. The majority of marine biologists study Marine Biology or Oceanography at university, or complete a Masters in Marine Biology after another scientific undergraduate degree. Most Marine Biologists recommend getting PADI qualified early and gaining experience volunteering and doing unpaid work in this area. To find out more about this field of work and what you can do in it.

Environmental Consultant

Environmental Consultants (and other office-based environmental careers) recommend a 'relevant degree'. This would usually be an Environmental or Business degree for this area of work, and volunteering or going on expeditions and/or a passion for the environment is as essential. Many start off as 'Environmental Trainees' in government roles but there are additional routes.

Field Photography

Photography is everywhere, and very competitive. However, field and nature photography is increasingly popular and accessible. Many people nowadays get a degree in photography to pursue this career, but you could also get an environmental degree and then take an extended course in photography. The most important thing for this type of career is building a strong portfolio. For info on generic photography careers.

Further Education

Hands-on experience is generally the most valued and interesting form of education. Why not go an Earthwatch expedition to get field research experience with world-class scientists.

Suggested courses for further education at university level:

  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology
  • Biology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Conservation Studies
  • Marine/Freshwater Biology
  • Geology
  • Sustainability
  • Urban Planning

Educate yourself! There are plenty of online courses and resources to further educate you on environmental matters. Keep up to date with the news and follow charities, local friends groups and national parks. You might even find community projects, initiatives and classes.