Environmental conservation courses to jumpstart your career in sustainability
Sustainability is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world today as it gives businesses a competitive advantage in addition to developing shared values for both society and businesses. Environmental conservation is a subset of the sustainability field and they come hand in hand as these disciplines both examine the impacts of technology and human activity on the environment.
According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for jobs for environmental scientists and specialists is strong, with a projected growth rate of 11% between 2016 and 2026. Nobody could have predicted that today in 2020, the main topic of conversation would be COVID-19, a global pandemic. Rightfully so, however, the focus has been taken off our environmental needs which, if not cared for properly, could lead to much worse. Especially today, experts in environmental conservation are very much needed.
Professionals majoring in environmental conservation will gain a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between human societies and the natural environment to become sustainability advocates and leaders for constructive change.
Many universities offer comprehensive courses that prepare students for a career in environmental conservation. A solid education in this area will develop professionals who have the right skills to solve real-world problems and work collaboratively with diverse interest groups to facilitate policy and action toward a sustainable future.
Individuals who are interested to pursue a career in this field can opt for Master’s level qualifications but here are also many potential job paths for professionals who possess certifications in environmental conservation.
The potential careers that are available range from environmental consultancy to fundraising and political analysis.
If you are interested in pursuing an education in this field, there are several free online courses that will give you the head-start you need to develop a career in environmental conservation:
Climate Action in Biodiverse Landscapes
Hosted by edX, and developed by WageningenX, this intermediate Social Sciences course defines and explains the different forms of climate action. It focuses less on “why” but more on “how” action can be taken against climate change and its impacts on the earth and us. The course is four-weeks long, instructor-led, and its contents are completely free with the option to pay for a certificate.
Tropical Coastal Ecosystems
The University of Queensland, Australia offers learners this course via edX to assist them in developing the skills and knowledge needed to help preserve tropical coastal ecosystems.
Online lectures are delivered by leading experts and those enrolled will get the chance to virtually explore challenges these ecosystems are facing such as overfishing, coastal pollution, ocean warming, acidification.
This course teaches methods and techniques on how these issues are tackled effectively. This self-paced free course takes around nine weeks to complete.
National Geographic’s Exploring Conservation Courses
The National Geographic Society hosts six free courses on their website that collectively make up their Exploring Conservation series.
The courses offered through this series include Introduction to Conservation, Prioritising Species and Spaces, Understanding Illegal Wildlife Trade, Ocean Challenges and Solutions, Conservation Project Planning, and Scientific Expeditions for Conservation.
These courses were developed by United for Wildlife and the Zoological Society of London.
Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy
This free course is offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and hosted by Coursera. It considers existing legal regimes governing pollution, water law, endangered species, toxic substances, environmental impact analyses, and environmental risk. No previous knowledge of law or legal experience is required to enroll, and Coursera reports that 32% of learners started a new career upon completion.
Climate Change: Solutions
This course by the University of Exeter allows learners to explore solutions to man-made climate change which has become one of the biggest threats to the world. Receding glaciers, ocean acidification, and increasingly vulnerable food supply has proven that it is vital to continuously find solutions.
Topics covered in the course include mitigation, adaptation, and geoengineering which can help avoid dangerous climate changes. This course is completely free with an option to pay for certification.