Environmental management is a business degree subject focused on business in the environmental marketplace. While studying environmental management, students learn about the types of businesses, organizations, government and public agencies that operate in or affect the environmental sector. This includes management techniques specifically for this sector, as well as environmental research, laws, policies, and more.
Why a Master’s Degree?
Unlike a traditional MBA, a Master’s in Environmental Management (MEM) gives you business knowledge and skills specifically geared toward the environmental sector. Through a master’s program, you will gain a thorough understanding of industries, government and public agencies, organizations, and more as they relate to the environmental marketplace. You will learn what it takes for a business to be successful, how to address and resolve problems, and how to effectively manage in this sector. Many companies require management and executive personnel to hold a master’s degree, which is why a master’s degree program in environmental management may lead to a very successful career.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Environmental management graduate programs have a set of criteria required for admission. Specific requirements vary by institution, but the following are some of the most common:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
- Passing score on the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT (TOEFL and IELTS for international students).
- Personal statement describing your academic and career objectives.
- Three letters of recommendation.
Inside an Environmental Management Master’s Degree Program
Since a bachelor’s degree is required to be accepted into a master’s degree program, you will have already completed all of the necessary general education courses and developed a solid foundation of knowledge. Therefore, the courses you take in your master’s degree program will all be related to environmental management. In most cases, these programs are designed to be completed in two years for a full-time student. In the first year you will learn about environmental management in general, while in the second year you will choose and have a curriculum built around a specialization.
There are many traditional and online environmental management master’s degree programs available for you to choose from. In most cases, online programs incorporate discussion forums, live chat sessions, video lectures, and more to simulate a traditional classroom. The assignments in an online program will be similar as well, including research papers, exams, and even group projects. Your classes will cover topics such as economics of the environment, environmental sciences statistics, ecosystems and landscapes, environmental risk assessment, and management in multiple areas, including air quality, land and water resources, waste, and land use. Some of these programs may require or have opportunities for students occasionally visiting their school’s campus for workshops or seminars, allowing them to gain hands-on learning and training.
What’s Next for Environmental Management Master’s Degree Holders?
One popular career choice for professionals with degrees in environmental management is to become an environmental engineering manager, where you will plan, coordinate, and oversee environmental engineering projects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), engineering managers are expected to see an increase in employment of 9% from 2010 to 2020 and earn an average of $119,260 a year. Other career options include natural sciences manager, where employment is expected to increase by 8% and the average salary is $116,020 a year, or a management analyst, expecting to see a 22% growth in employment and averaging $78,160 a year. Keep in mind that employment opportunities and income will depend on several factors, including your amount of experience, location, and industry.
If you are interested in going beyond a master’s degree, many schools are offering doctoral degrees in environmental management. These programs tend to be based on environmental research, leading to research and development careers, as well as programs emphasizing academia, leading to careers in education at colleges and universities. Many of these programs will require you to conduct your own research for, write, and defend a dissertation before being awarded the degree.