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What can I do with my degree?: Environmental science

An environmental science degree equips you with essential skills that could lead to a job in the environment sector or a range of other occupations...

Jobs options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

It is relatively easy to find relevant work experience opportunities since many environmental organisations need help from people willing to carry out unpaid work.

Working in a voluntary capacity in an environment-related role may often be the first step into more specialist, paid employment. Many students get involved in clubs and societies while still at university or take up volunteering roles with conservation organisations, such as The Wildlife Trusts , or become active in campaigning groups in their local area.

Volunteering gives you experience that is difficult to gain elsewhere and shows commitment. Some students attend conferences and debates on environmental concerns, subscribe to relevant magazines and journals or go travelling. All these experiences may be persuasive to an employer.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Typical employers for environmental science graduates include:

There are many vacancy sites for environmental volunteering jobs but the following also have paid graduate jobs across a range of related areas:

Find information on employers in environment and agriculture, energy and utilities, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying environmental science provides you with very specific skills according to your particular course or specialist area. You will also develop a broader set of transferable skills, including:

  • research and problem-solving skills;
  • competence in developing arguments from scientific, ethical and philosophical perspectives;
  • ability to plan and manage projects;
  • ability to gather, analyse and communicate complex technical data to others;
  • flexibility to work in all kinds of environments, developed through field-work experience;
  • numerical and IT skills, developed through the application of statistics and measurement techniques;
  • a broad understanding of local, national and global environmental issues.

Further study

Some environmental science graduates embark on further study to train for a particular career path, e.g. teaching or management, while others are supported by their employer to gain directly relevant professional qualifications. Studying at postgraduate level enhances your employability by increasing your research skills, specialist knowledge and communication skills.

Postgraduate courses may be aimed at developing knowledge of a particular specialist area or entering a sector, such as environmental health, where a postgraduate qualification is an essential requirement.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do environmental science graduates do?

The top occupation held by graduates employed in the UK is an environment professional, with conservation and environmental associate professionals also in the top five.

Graduate destinations for environmental science
Destinations Percentage
Employed 62.1%
Further study 17.9%
Working and studying 4.5%
Unemployed 8.4%
Other 7.1%
Types of work entered in the UK
Technicians and other professionals 30.1%
Retail, catering and bar work 19.1%
Business, HR and financial 8.5%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 6.0%
Other occupations 36.3%

For a detailed breakdown of what environmental, physical geographical and terrestrial sciences graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
August 2014

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