Are you interested in pursuing a career in environmental sciences? You should be aware of your options and consider the competition involved.
The environmental science programs at most schools accept fewer students than most other programs. In 2017, only 7,996 environmental science degrees were awarded throughout the entire country. This is about half the number of music degrees and 25% the number of fine arts degrees.
This means that it is clearly difficult to get a degree in the environmental sciences. Fortunately, there are ways to boost your chances of getting admitted.
Overcoming the Challenges of Getting Admitted to an Environmental Science Program
Environmental science students who secure advanced academic degrees with high grades have the chance to build on their achievements and go to grad school. Doing so has many benefits. It opens up a lot of doors and enables them to deepen their understanding of their chosen field. Something that turns them into sought after employees.
You will find that getting a graduate degree in the environmental sciences is even more important. Unlike fields like engineering and business, you are going to need an advanced degree to get a job as an environmental scientist.
Ace the application process
The first stage is getting through the application stage. Make sure that you come up with an outstanding statement of purpose. Often, this is the first thing the panel looks at. It is a very quick way for them to work out whether your goals are a good fit for what they have to offer. You can find out how to write your statement of purpose, by clicking here.
You need to make sure that your statement of purpose doesn’t sound too generic. Many environmentalists talk about their desire to fight climate change. Admissions officers want to hear something more insightful than this.
Try talking about a more specific research interest. You can talk about an oil spill in India or another major environmental disaster that has spurred your interest in the field.
Gain useful skills
Whenever you can, work in your chosen field. Doing so will grow your understanding as well as give you hands-on experience. It is also an effective way to demonstrate to the admissions panel that you are genuinely interested in your chosen field.
What does this mean for environmental science majors? You may think that there isn’t anything that you can do with your environmental science degree if you don’t have a graduate degree yet. However, there are many opportunities that you can consider. You can do internships before getting into graduate school. You can also try getting a job in forestry, which doesn’t require the same advanced degrees.
If you can, work on a research project – do so even if it seems boring. This kind of experience is perfect for graduate students who want to go to grad school. It really does tick all of the boxes.
Speak to other grad school students
Getting a better feel for how the grad school you are hoping to enter works will prove beneficial. Try to buddy up with a few people who are already attending it.
Get yourself a mentor
You need support if you want a career in the environmental sciences. This is more important than most other fields, due to the limited number of people in the profession.
Later, they may be willing to act as a mentor for you. Taking advice from someone who is just a step or two in front of you on your chosen career path is far more useful than many people realize. The advice they can provide is definitely current. Plus, they are often in a position to recommend you for the role they have just moved on from.
Although, it is also worth seeking out another more experienced mentor. They have other qualities and knowledge that will also prove to be useful and relevant to a young graduate. Potentially, you can ask someone like that to provide a recommendation for you for your grad school application. This is something relatively few other students will be able to do. Most of them will simply ask their professor and head of department to provide one. This is OK, but the panel is far more impressed by recommendations written by people who work in the field who already know you well. Use this information to help you to select the right mentor for you.
Think careful about your extracurricular activities
It is important to make time to relax and enjoy yourself, during your student years. If you don’t you will burn out. But it is worth choosing activities that are more likely to enable you to get into the grad school of your choice. You can find some examples of the kind of activities that will benefit you the most by clicking here.
Get into an Environmental Program
There is a lot of demand for environmentalists. Unfortunately, spots in environmental science programs are competitive. You need to make sure that you due your due diligence to get into the program. These tips should help.