Careers & Employability 

Careers

Careers

Population growth, poverty, globalisation and economic development place ever-increasing demands on the earth's environmental systems and natural resources. Our interdisciplinary approach across all three degree courses ensures that our graduates are equipped with practical, applied skills for environment-related employment.

The courses will give you knowledge, skills and techniques to help develop practical, sustainable solutions to environmental problems. They also embrace broader social and economic issues, helping students to use their scientific understanding realistically in the context of policy formulation and environmental management.

Carmel‌I started on the two year Yorkshire Water graduate scheme after I graduated from York. I stayed on at the company and now work as a Network Asset Strategy Planner. The main reason why I applied to water companies was because I completed a specific module on water and waste water treatment and quality as part of my degree and also wrote my dissertation on the topic. My academic interests at York therefore directly influenced my career choice.

Carmel
BSc Environmental Science 
Network Asset Strategy Planner, Yorkshire Water

Read more about our graduates

We aim to provide our students with the necessary skills to enable them to excel in their future careers. Department of Environment and Geography graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of careers and with employers including:

  • Private utilities such as water and energy companies
  • Environmental management
  • Policy formulation
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Public sector bodies such as the Environment Agency, DEFRA
  • Local government e.g. pollution abatement, planning
  • Conservation bodies
  • Teaching

Around 25-30% of our undergraduates go on to study for a higher degree.

For more information on the career destinations of our students, please see our Careers Service pages.

Marchant, Rob for careers pages‌Now is a great time to study the environment. This field isn't going to diminish and the number of opportunities for people to go into environment-related jobs is increasing. It is a very competitive area and many undergraduates choose to study a masters degree before getting a job, but it is possible to go straight into employment, especially if you've shown initiative and gained experience during your degree.

If you are proactive you will be able to access the wealth of opportunities on offer. Make the most of the fact that our staff are at the top of their game and are involved in projects with a whole host of partner organisations. Students should definitely take advantage of these links and collaborations; they could be invaluable to future careers or research.
Dr Rob Marchant, Reader in Biogeography

Career destinations

What do our students go on to do?

The environmental field is exciting and the increasing awareness of the pressures on our environment means that there is an expansion in job opportunities.

At the undergraduate level, the majority of entry-level jobs directly related to environmental management are in the public sector, newly privatised industries, or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Other private sector employers typically require more work experience and/or postgraduate qualifications, although private consultancies and industry do employ smaller numbers of recent graduates.

Employment (%)

95.5% of Environment graduates were employed or in further study six months after graduation (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 (HESA) (full-time uk students)).

Further Study 

Many statutory public sector bodies such as the Environment Agency recruit Environment graduates. Local government is an important employer particularly in town and country planning and environmental management, and graduates can study for planning qualifications while working in this field.

Privatised utilities such as the electricity generating companies and regional water companies are also increasingly important employers are they become aware of their need for corporate environmental responsibility.

As in all disciplines, many graduates use their degree as a stepping stone to a career in another area.

Many of the skills developed in environmental science, geography, ecology and environmental management - decision making, mathematical and statistical analysis, scientific method and so on - are highly transferable. They are recognised to be valuable in a wide range of occupations. Teaching in secondary and further education is an important career path that could involve teaching in environmental studies, economics, or possibly biology or geography.

Environment students have an excellent track record of employment, with most students in employment or further study within the first six months of graduating. To find out more about our past students, please see our career profiles.

Lissie Spencer