Career Opp

ENS B.A. Career Opportunities

A. Overview

The ENS B.A. degree will provide graduating students with a broad liberal-arts education in environmental studies within the context of sustainability. ENS students will obtain the fundamental knowledge required to understand the relationships that exist between the global economy, the natural world, and societal problems and needs. The program will develop the critical thinking, communication, and independent study skills necessary for students to pursue lifestyles and careers that are ecologically viable, socially desirable, and economically feasible. The ENS B.A. will readily serve as a double-major with discipline-specific B.S. or B.A. degrees to prepare students for a wide range of careers in the rapidly expanding “Green Economy”.

B. The Green Economy

Environmental-related occupations are expected to experience tremendous growth over the next decade in areas such as clean energy, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly production, conservation, and pollution mitigation. Occupations in “clean businesses” and “clean jobs” increased by 9.1% from 1998-2007 with growth at the same level anticipated for the near future The Pew Charitable Trust

The term “Sustainability” now resonates with the current generation of students like “dot-com” and “start-up” did in previous years The New York Times, 2011. Indeed, given the current state of the world, it could be argued that “every job is a green job” Inside Higher Ed, 2011Thus, ENS graduates could utilize their knowledge and training in essentially any vocation in Kentucky.

CNN Money (Sept. 5, 2013): "Green" Employment is Growing Steadily (but Quietly)

C. Careers in Kentucky

The ENS Program, with its focus on writing and communication, will prepare graduates for a variety of Media and Communication jobs. This field has 8,871 current employees and an anticipated annual growth rate of ~ 6%.  ENS graduates could pursue careers in Urban and Regional Planning with 204 current employees in four reagions and anticipated growth of 17%. They could become Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, with 610 current employees and anticipated growth of 18% to 2018. ENS graduates could also find employment as Natural Science Managers which currently has 180 employees in the Bluegrass and Louisville areas. They could find employment in the Department for Environmental Protection Divisions of Waste Management, Air Quality, and Water.

Kentucky American Water Corporation has more than 7,000 employees Kentucky American Water. ENS students, particularly those with double-majors in science, engineering or business, will be qualified for many KAW employment opportunities. Indeed, the president of KAW has an M.S. in Environmental Studies.

There is strong demand for Postsecondary Teachers, an area expected to grow by ~ 17% from the 17,228 current employees. ENS students could pursue careers in this field as double-majors in Postsecondary Education.

D. National Opportunities

The degree will prepare students for career opportunities in city, state and federal government, non-profit organizations, professional societies, and in the private sector. The students will be particularly well-prepared for careers where communication skills are essential. Several hundred potential career opportunities can be found by searching for the term “environmental” at this website: O*NET OnLine.  Other useful websites include:  EcoEmployand EcoBusinessLinks.

With their broad-based academic training, ENS graduates  could pursue careers in federal agencies such the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  ENS graduates could also find employment with newspapers, magazines, and other media-based companies.

There are many possibilities for employment with non-profit organizations and professional societies, with some examples being Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, the American Planning Association, North American Lake Management Society, and the Society for Ecological Restoration. In these and other career opportunities the students will be able to understand, evaluate, and communicate the meaning and impact of new environmental developments.

E. Summary

The integration of different fields, such as science, engineering, politics, law, information technology, project management, business administration, marketing, communications, and economics, will be critical to the emerging environmental professions. Demand will be high for people who combine the ENS B.A. with a traditional disciplinary degree. The ENS Degree provides a great deal of flexibility in the electives the students may choose to best fit their career aspirations. The students will be able to tailor their courses to have the ENS B.A. serve as their primary major, or to have it complement a second major.

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