Outdoor Education Degrees
Majors that lead to professional careers can be divided into two parts: Science and Parks and Recreation Resources.
People who pick a science major and are still hoping to work outdoors might find themselves working as Marine Biologists, Biologists, Zoologists, Veterinarians, Geologists or even Botanists.
These are all examples of science majors that have outdoor applications. A biologist for example can be a lab or field biologist and is someone who might track salmon populations or inspect bird habitats in a specific region. Jobs of this kind usually require a professional education that can sometimes take many years to complete. It can often take even longer to obtain the outdoor position that you want, but staying dedicated and working hard will get you closer and closer to the outdoor job of your dreams. Veterinarians for instance must complete a four-year degree as a science major and complete another four-degree before they can begin practicing. It may be any number of years before they earn a spot on a wildlife refugee, treating animals. However, dedicated professionals such as this find their work very personally rewarding and more than worth all the hours of study.
Parks and Recreation Resources
Majors in Parks and Recreation Resources include: Forestry, Resource Conservation, Recreation Management, Wildlife Restoration, Parks Administration, Equestrian Studies, Conservation Management and Protection, Wildlife and Fish Management and Ecological Studies. These majors will also require extensive science training but also encompass different aspects of outdoor work, not related to science. People who complete majors such as these might be an environmental protection officer or work with landowners to work in agricultural planning.
Below are some examples of jobs and descriptions of majors that fall under Parks and Recreation Resources. These job descriptions are excellent examples of how diverse the career fields are for outdoor jobs.
A job in forestry means working, studying and protecting forests and their natural resources.
A forestry worker might work for the government or a private organization. They are usually very concerned with biodiversity management and work to protect and study different environments. A forestry worker might manage a nursery or act as a consultant for landowners to help them manage their goals according to environmental law. It is truly a diverse major with many different work opportunities and prospects.
Wildlife and Fisheries Management
Someone who manages wildlife or fish populations takes great pains to ensure that population levels of certain species are at desirable levels. They may study degraded habitats and work with restoration workers to examine how they can naturally and artificially help decreasing and endangered populations.
Recreation Management workers are often park rangers or naturalists. They might work in land management or specialize in tourism for parks. They are often environmental educators, researchers and teachers. Some are outdoor adventure leaders who lead tourism groups to safely navigate different environments without altering their natural state.
Fire Science is the study of fire with the intention of becoming a firefighter or fire researcher. Learn more about firefighting and firefighting seasonal employment in Job Monkey’s Fire Fighting Section.
Outdoor Job Minors
Some people choose to minor in a subject that is related to outdoor jobs to give their existing major more diversity. This is an excellent choice for someone who is interested in being a biologist for example, but who wants some training in Park Administration. The reverse is true for a person who wants the credibility of a science degree but isn’t interested in pursuing science as a major. Having a minor in any of the above or related degrees is yet another way to gain professional education for an outdoor career you might be interested in pursuing later.
Minors are often offered in areas where a major is not. For example some popular minor programs might include: Wilderness Studies, Environmental Education, Science minors, Outdoor leadership (select schools), Outdoor Education and Sports and Recreation. It is best to research the majors and minors available at schools you are interested in.