Outdoor Education

More and more people are choosing to make a career out of working in the outdoors rather than considering an outdoor job as one that is only good for seasonal or temporary employment.

There has been a growing trend in Universities and Colleges of people who are choosing majors that will lead them to a career involved in working outdoors or with wildlife.
With the general public taking a greater personal interest in parks and conservation efforts, outdoor work is demanding the attention of professionals who are highly trained and educated. Jobs such as these are becoming increasingly more specialized and require an increasingly more specialized type of educational background.

Clearly the industry of ‘outdoors jobs’ includes a large range of job titles. Equally as sizable therefore, is the background and educational demands for each position. For example someone interested in Marine Biology will need to pursue an education very different than a person who wants to work in Parks Administration however, both might be considered outdoor jobs. Universities and Colleges recognize the educational needs of these different jobs and have programs that offer degrees fitting for the diverse work in each field.

An Overview – Narrowing your Interests for a Major

Many people don’t know the exact career they are looking for, but know they want it to be related to work in the outdoors. Outdoor work, albeit a vague term for a large range of jobs, usually attracts people with a few common interests. People interested in outdoor work usually have interests or concerns rooted in the environment. Animals and wildlife are typically common interests and people who gravitate to work of this kind are generally more interested in science than literature. Naturally, the interests of each individual will vary however, an education in an outdoors job major greatly emphasizes earth and nature sciences as well as environmental issues. Even someone who ultimately wants to work in an administrative role will need to be well versed in subjects surrounding work in the outdoors, which most certainly includes science. Examining your interests and comparing them with the subjects of the major you might be interested in will help you pick a major that best suits your personal interests and goals.

Doing any kind of different volunteer work before choosing a major may help narrow your decision based on the experience you had while volunteering. Usually the education needed for one kind of outdoor major is similar to the work in another, especially early the process. If you find yourself needing to pick a different major, but one that is still related to outdoor work, its likely you already have completed some of the required courses and are really, simply shifting your focus.

Research the majors of the school you want to apply to, thoroughly. Think about the difference between a school that has a Parks and Recreation Department to one that only offers majors in the Sciences. For instance, it won’t do you much good if the school you attend doesn’t offer majors in the areas you are interested in. Conversely, someone who wants to be a marine biologist would be less concerned if the school had a parks department and more concerned with the science curriculum of their University.

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