There are a number of different factors that come into play when it comes to picking out the right career for your future. Salary, job security, personal interests and required education level are all important, but many environmentally-conscious individuals also want to find a career that will do good for the planet.
If you are interested in a fulfilling and rewarding career that helps rather than harms the Earth, then earning a degree in environmental management or sustainable enterprise management could be just the ticket. Discover more about both of these degrees, what kind of careers you can pursue after graduation, what the prerequisites are to enrollment, the typical courses you can expect to take and what kind of people might be the right fit for both degrees.
All About the Environmental Management Degree
The primary objective of an environmental management degree is to prepare students to become leaders in the world of environmental protection. By studying various environmental laws, environmental science and sustainability, students will be better prepared to suggest policies and laws that will benefit the planet in the future.
Many students opt to pursue a specific area of study, especially at the higher levels of this field, in order to become an expert on a subject like air quality control or water filtration methods. Generally, students will focus on a few core subjects that could include environmental chemistry, accounting, statistics, budget planning, hazardous waste management and more.
In many ways, this degree is a combination of business administration skills and science, which work together to create students who can take on leadership roles in environmental protection and study.
All About the Sustainable Enterprise Management Degree
In many ways, the sustainable enterprise management degree is similar to the environmental management degree, described in detail above. However, the key difference is that sustainable enterprise management graduates are far more likely to work for private corporations rather than nonprofit and government agencies. Sustainable enterprise management puts an emphasis on how to develop, build and grow without damaging the environment, but there is still a heavy focus on profit.
Despite this shift in focus, the objective of the degree is still very much on how to prepare students to protect the environment, and that is achieved through courses such as business sustainability standards, green marketing, environmental management principles and environmental economics. There is less of a science focus with this degree, so it may be a better choice for those who prefer reading, writing and research to math.
Choosing a Degree Level
Whether you want to study environmental management or sustainable enterprise management, you will need to decide what degree level will best help you reach your career goals. While associate degrees are available, they are typically not sufficient to secure a job in either of these fields. Bachelor’s degrees, however, are an effective way to begin an entry-level or mid-level management position.
A bachelor’s degree takes an average of four years to complete, and it is often the minimum requirement among hiring managers in government organizations, private corporations and nonprofit agencies. In order to secure many of the upper-level management positions, however, a master’s degree might be the best fit. These degrees take one to two years to complete, on average, but they can go a long way in increasing your eligibility for employment as well as your overall earning potential.
For those primarily interested in research rather than policy implementation, earning a doctorate degree will make you an expert in the field of environmental sustainability, and you may be brought on as a consultant for government agencies as well as large corporations who are planning to develop.
While there are a number of different degree types and levels to consider, aspiring students should be aware that they will have to first apply, be accepted and then enroll into a college degree program before they can begin working toward their certifications.
If you are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in either environmental management or sustainable enterprise management, the most important thing to have is a high school diploma or a general education degree. Beyond that, colleges typically request copies of your high school transcripts, suitable SAT or ACT scores, a written admission essay, a small application fee and references from previous teachers or employers.
In some cases, you may also need to have a personal or video interview, but that is becoming less common. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate certification like the master’s degree, then you will need to have already completed your bachelor’s degree in a related business or science field.
Depending on the competitiveness of the college you wish you attend, you may also need to submit your college transcripts, meet a certain grade point average, have recommendations from a college professor or meet the qualifying standards on the GRE, or Graduate Record Examination.
The Appeal of Online Degrees
While you can choose to earn your bachelor’s or master’s degree at a traditional college campus, there are a number of benefits that come along with studying online. Flexibility, convenience and a customizable pace are the big advantages, and it can be a great option for busy students.
Like any other degree, online degrees include coursework, reading, classroom discussions, lectures and exams. Unlike traditional degrees, however, an online degree can be pursued from any location with an Internet connection.
That means that from the comfort of your own home, you can stream live classroom sessions, watch recorded lectures, chat online in moderated college classroom message boards or access the texts for the program. This level of flexibility means that you can add online study to a schedule of childcare, work or any other obligations.
Careers in Sustainable Enterprise and Environmental Management
With a degree in sustainable enterprise management, you will be eligible for careers with private businesses domestically and overseas. Environmental consultants tend to earn salaries of $63,570, but that number tends to go up depending on experience and education.
Your job might include testing sites before development or helping large factories adhere to pollution restrictions. In environmental management, there is a greater chance that you work for a nonprofit organization or a governmental agency. As a sustainability specialist, environmental management coordinator or ecosystem restoration consultant, you might create environmental protection policies or ensure that private organizations are following government regulations.
Common Traits Found Among Successful Environmental Management Professionals
The most important attributes to have if you want to pursue a career in environmental management and sustainability will include a passion for the environment, great communication skills and the ability to remain focused on projects for months or even years at a time. Being technologically savvy and being able to analyze extensive data will also be tremendously helpful in this line of work.
To begin a career that helps the planet, consider earning an Online Business Administration/Environmental Management Degree through an accredited online college.