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Degree in Natural Resources

A Degree in Natural Resources?

A degree that focuses on natural resources teaches students about the science and management of resources. It deals with social, political and economic influences on resource allocation and usage. Students who enroll in a degree in natural resources would be taught how to solve complex problems and deal with delicate issues regarding the earth’s natural resource division.

Bachelor Degree in Natural Resources

Duration

4 Years

Pre-Requisite

High School Diploma or GED

Courses

  • Forestry Ethics
  • Wildlife and Fish Conservation
  • Geographic Information Survey
  • Marine Mammal Conservation and Biology
  • Managing Natural Resources
  • Rangeland Management
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Natural Resources Policy and Law
  • National Park Geology and Preservation
  • Urban Forestry
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Wetlands and Riparian Ecology

A Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources would educate students about humans and their impact on the natural world. Main courses would consist of earth, air science, water concerns, math, biology and statistics. All these courses will be combined with a focus on the study of ecology. In addition to the direct nature-relevant courses, students will also be given a deeper look into matters concerning the environment, through a political, social and economic angle.

Students enrolled in this program will also get to explore the various kinds of wildlife, fish, forests, water and other such resources. A typical bachelor’s degree in natural resources would require students to specialize in a specific area such as ecology, natural resource policy or conservation.

Master’s Degree in Natural Resources

Duration

2-3 Years

Pre-Requisite

Undergraduate Degree in a Related Subject

Courses

  • Law and the Environment
  • Human Dimensions of Ecology
  • Ecology of Rangelands
  • Ecology and Management of Wetlands
  • Human Systems
  • Introduction to Sustainable Resources
  • Ecology/Production

Concentrations

  • Fisheries Management
  • Forests and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Natural Resources
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Urban Forestry
  • Water Conflict Management
  • Wildlife Management

With a master’s degree in natural resources, students would be expected to select an area of specialization along with the typical core courses. A thesis/project would have to be submitted towards the end of the program.

Continuing Education Options

With the changes in environment so frequent and quick, there is no denying the need for continuing education in this field. As newer science and concepts emerge, certifications and courses must be taught to keep professionals updated. Natural Resources degree holders have continuing education options that will help them advance their careers by earning certifications. To be eligible for application into a certification program, students will be required to have some professional experience. Along with this, they might also need to pass an exam to get the certificate.

Careers in Natural Resources

With an ever-increasing focus on environment conservation, degrees such as those in natural resources are high in demand. Typically an undergraduate degree is enough for an entry level job in this field. However, people with post-graduate degrees would certainly be at an advantage with employers.

Let’s take a detailed look at some of the most common careers in the field of Natural Resources:

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

These professionals are responsible for managing the land quality of forests, rangelands, parks and other such natural resources. They typically work for the government, but are also sometimes hired by private landowners or social advocacy groups.

2016 Median Salary

$60,610 per year

Entry Level Education

Bachelor’s Degree

Work Experience Requirement

None

Number of Jobs, 2014

36,500

Job Outlook, 2014-24

7% (As fast as average)

Employment Change, 2014-24

2,700

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

These professionals utilize their knowledge of the natural resources to protect the environment, along with the human health. They may specialize in cleaning up polluted areas, advising policy makers on the needs of the environment or working with industries to reduce waste.

2016 Median Salary

$68,910 per year

Entry Level Education

Bachelor’s Degree

Work Experience Requirement

None

Number of Jobs, 2014

94,600

Job Outlook, 2014-24

11% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2014-24

10,200

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Environmental Engineers

These individuals make use of the principles of soil science, biology, chemistry and engineering to create solutions to the environmental problems facing the world today. Their main tasks include obtaining, updating, planning and operating different environmental projects. In addition to that, they need to be well aware of the principles governing this sector so that they don’t end up breaking the law. They are involved in activities such as recycling plans, public health, waste disposal, pollution control, air and water pollution and so on. The work environment of these engineers is greatly varied. Because of the variety of tasks they perform, they might be working in office or on different kinds of sites.

2016 Median Salary

$84,890 per year

Entry Level Education

Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience Requirement

None

Number of Jobs, 2014

55,100

Job Outlook, 2014-24

12% (faster than average)

Employment Change, 2014-24

6,800

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Similar occupations for those interested in this field include the likes of chemical engineers, civil engineers, hydrologists, natural science managers and environmental engineering technicians. You can find employment related to natural resources in a variety of sectors. The current outlook for this sector looks promising - with more programs being offered now, greater salaries and a larger number of available occupations.

Getting a degree in natural resources would help you launch a career in conservation sciences in any sector that you want. Just make sure you conduct a thorough research on the program you wish to enroll in.

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