Those interested in the environment and how policy making organizations affect the quality of natural resources may consider the bachelor’s in environmental policy. Students enroll in courses that cover ecology, environmental policy, geography, physics, chemistry, geology, and worldwide health issues. The scientific components of the degree focus on skills in sustainability, pollution control, and waste and energy management, while developing essential knowledge needed to solve problems and implement effective solutions pertaining to environmental issues.
With greenhouse gases causing ozone depletion, air pollution, water contamination, land damage, food contamination, and loss of species, organizations are looking for educated workers to develop and manage environmental policy. Online bachelor’s degree programs in environmental policy thoroughly prepare students to analyze data and transform it into useful information for making policy and meeting the demands of a rapidly changing industry.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy?
With the bachelor’s degree, students enter a multidisciplinary approach toward ecological impact, sustainable resource development, and environmental health. An environmental policy bachelor’s degree online program enables students to become ecologists or scientists that work to change policy and preserve the environment. Many bachelor’s degree students zero in on course work to enter a variety of careers including work with fisheries, land conservation trusts, consultant organizations, horticulture specialists, or land planning agencies and organizations.
These programs train students to creatively use technology and apply it to real world environmental problems. A bachelor’s also introduces strategies and techniques for maintaining the quality of the environment, and develops skills needed to progress to natural science management. Managers work with presidents and CEOs of organizations, manage personnel, and coordinate activities for environmental projects and organizations. Other bachelor’s holders choose to continue their education with a master’s degree in environmental policy.
Getting into an Environmental Policy Bachelor’s Program
General high school education is required for admittance into most online bachelor’s degree programs in environmental policy. Transfer students who have completed core courses may receive a transfer. The following criteria are generally required for acceptance into a four-year undergraduate program:
- Application for admissions
- Official high school transcript or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- Official transcripts from any previous colleges or universities
- Advanced placement examination scores and/or college level examination scores
Inside an Environmental Policy Bachelor’s Degree Program
Students take required core courses, which include environmental chemistry, ecology, impact of science and technology on society, geology, and earth science. Elective courses allow the student to focus on areas of interest. Areas of interest, in the online bachelor’s degree in environmental policy, include applied ecology and resource management, resource economics, conservation, fisheries and wildlife, geography, horticulture, business and entrepreneurship, environmental policy, and sustainability.
Some institutions offer electives in leadership and decision making. Students interested in management and leadership may want to explore these valuable options. Typical course work includes classes in leadership, financial management, project management, and entrepreneurship.
What’s Next for Environmental Policy Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Those who earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy increase their chances of finding rewarding work in positions such as environmental scientists, air quality specialists, fisheries managers, and conservation program coordinators. Environmental scientists typically collect water samples with pollution emissions, analyze data, and seek correlations to human activities. They also review environmental permits and licenses. Between 2010 and 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 19% job growth rate in the environmental science industry. In May 2011, the median salary for this sector was $61,700.
As part their career growth, environmental scientists with a bachelor’s often seek promotion to natural sciences manager. The management position, according to BLS, reported an annual median salary of $116,020. Natural sciences managers collaborate with top executives to develop detailed environmental plans and explore different strategies to accomplish these goals. They will also prepare budgets, hire scientists, engineers, and technicians, review the accuracy of the individual’s and team’s work, and prepare progress reports. Executives, shareholders, clients, and board members rely on natural science managers to present environmental proposals and to clearly explain team findings and related regulations.