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Green Degrees

You needn’t attain a university education to begin a life devoted to the environment, nor must you be an environmentalist to enjoy the benefits of earning a degree in green courses.

However, if you are in pursuit of a higher education and increased opportunity, you’d be wise to consider majors with emphasis on improving the health and sustainability of our society.


Environmental Law concerns the relationship between human activity, especially corporate and industrial, and its effects on the environment and human health. Most who aspire to become a lawyer specializing in environmental issues get their Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Law, followed by three years of law school. More prestigious programs will run along $45,000 or more a year.


While many businesses are continually employing ‘green’ renovations, experience in entrepreneurship can help you create a business from scratch that is founded on the ideologies of environmental stewardship. Whether it’s opening an up-cycle center or a storefront that sells low-impact inks and dye. Success in entrepreneurship will require strong ideas and the perseverance to carry them.

Health and Science

Careers in Environmental Engineering are expected to grow 22 percent within the next ten years, a much brighter outlook than the national average. As an environmental engineer, you will develop solutions to environmental stresses, including the effects of waste and pollution on the land and its health effects on living organisms. You’ll need to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree for an entry-level position in this field.

A career in Marine Biology allows you to study the habitats and potential threats of the ocean’s many occupants, some of whom have at late been outnumbered by plastic. Careers in marine biology currently have an expected job growth of 14-20 percent between 2010-2020.

Design and Technology

Today’s designs will dictate not only the style of the future, but how it operates. With degrees in sustainable architecture, urban planning, and clean technologies you can improve the built environment through research, innovations in technology, and by increasing the functionality of design through creative insight. Currently, the job outlook for architects between 2010-2020 is a bountiful 24 percent.

Nature Conservation

Forestry is expected to have a 12 percent growth over the next decade, with main job pools based in Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Mississippi. Although this growth could be considered average, many impending retirements in the field mean more opportunities for newcomers; including jobs in wildlife conservation, wildfire prevention, teaching, and even urban forestry – which focuses on managing the vegetation and forest areas in and around towns and cities. Generally, you will need to earn an Associate’s Degree to obtain entry-level employment in forestry.

If you are not certain where your passions and natural talents lie, there are many guides and assessments available online to help you translate your interests into a meaningful career. Try not to let the results fog your decision, however – if you have a strong affinity for a particular career path, by all means let that  guide you, as long as your instincts remain in the realm of practicality.

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