Is environmental science a good major choice?

I agree with other posters that environmental science is a great field to study. However, positions with environmental protection agencies are scare (and may be getting scarcer if Trump gets his way). You may want to consider working for an industry in their environmental compliance department, e.g. reducing waste streams, improving manufacturing by using more environmentally friendly materials, making sure your company is in compliance with permits, etc. While many environmentalists might see this as ‘working for the enemy', might I point out that we are all polluters and it requires grown-ups and critical thinkers to improve environmental quality. So let's discover new ways industries can do what they need do, but in less environmentally damaging ways. To this end, a BS in more specific sciences like engineering (of any kind) , chemistry (its all chemistry when you come right down to it), material science (solar), industrial hygiene, etc. might be a better way to go than a general science degree.  I agree we need the protesters and the regulators,  but you might actually do more good and get paid a helluva more (so you can pay off your student loans within your lifetime) if you go to work in industry.  Don't know if you speak Chinese, but if you do, that could be a huge plus.  You could do quality control for a US solar company that buys Chinese solar panels, or supervise installation of flood walls in China working for an international engineering firm, or create drought resistant crops for a seed company and do field tests in China.  A degree in a hard science might be a better way to go (and have more impact) than a general environmental science degree .  But not always.  Good luck!


There are lots of geologists and civil/environmental engineers working in the environmental sector, including regulatory agencies (government-EPA, state departments, countys) and environmental consulting companies. With that, I would recommend you get a degree in geology or environmental engineering because job prospects and job flexibility are better, unless you've put it in your head you can't do math then you can get a BS in environmental science (sometimes listed environmental studies), which can have more policy emphasis (less hard science). Each program varies.
I agree very strongly with Anthony. Env. engineering or geology is way better than environmental science. See this related thread: Should I apply to college with an intent to major in environmental engineering or environmental sciences?
A BS in Environmental Science is a degree that can be used in a broad spectrum of jobs.  Almost any job requiring a science degree or a laboratory job you would qualify for. 

One of the best parts of an ES degree is the opportunity to work outside.  A lot of the fields require you to go out and test or sample the environment. 

Most of the people working in the ES field are great to work with.
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