Is environmental science a good degree to pursue?
I'm about off to college, and am getting a bachelors of science degree so in the next two years I'll need to pick a major. I'm really torn on psychology or environmental science. Is a bachelors in environmental science a good degree to pursue? I have a passion for science mostly in the field of biology and ecology, so this fits like a glove. I'm just really having a hard time deciding, so if anyone could offer information and advice that would be great. Thanks.
- amandaLv 43 years agoFavorite Answer
Environmental Science is not a tree hugger degree; but if caring about the environment and the sustainability of the Earth on which we live (the minerals we use, water we drink, gems we wear, fuel we burn...)
(the erratic, unfocused answer of the first guy is a testament to how much you shouldn't heed what he says, for he is ignorant).
Env. sci is a broad degree, within which you specify on a particular discipline, such as:
- environmental chemistry/geochemistry ("Our town's water tastes very weird lately, and we want to find out what chemicals may have leaked into our water table from the new coal plant. Are they carcinogenic?"
- hydrology--usually paired with geology and oceanography ("Wells have been failing rapidly... is our water table dropping? Should we relocate the water tower due to changing rock porosity, before it's too late?")
- ecology--conservation or restoration ("A disease ravaged our corn crop and prices have skyrocketed. Does it pose a danger to our wheat fields as well? What can we do to restore the corn population?")
Environmental STUDIES is not science. That is a weak degree that is unsure of itself, and can be thought of as learning about how the environment and humans interact, with no contribution of knowledge to the field of science. There is a huge difference between env. science and env. studies.
EXAMPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE COURSES:
Organic Chemistry I and II
Petrology and Soils
Biogeochemistry (I love this class! Hard though)
It doesn't really get looked down upon, as much as it is just misunderstood. Env. science is part biology, and part earth sciences, but together it is environmental science, and is generally rigorous (Calculus I, II, and III, Physics I and II, and so on).
They often work with environmental engineers. (The env. scientist tests the permeability of bedrock where they want to build a new tunnel and tests surrounding water for acidity and erosive characteristiscs, and the env. engineer determines if a tunnel is physically, structurally possible there given the data collected by the env. scientist. Some industries, they are nearly interchangeable)
Psychology is usually totally not respected because it is the "fun" "easy" major that has few prospects without having a Ph.D. It's a slacker major, many think. I don't recommend it.
It is more impressive to be "Environmental Science, with a specialty in geochemistry or ecology" than "A Psych major"
Any science major beats any non-science major, any day. Go for just biology if you are concerned about career prospects for environmental science, because biology is more general and you can specialize in grad school.