Career Preparation Program
The UW Oshkosh environmental studies program is designed not just to teach you but to empower you to enter graduate school, pursue the career you want and to become a responsible and effective citizen in the community. However, especially because it is a broad, interdisciplinary program, the program does not function as a complete vocational training. It is up to you to take the extra steps to prepare yourself to get into the graduate school and career you want.
Seven Key Aspects of Preparing for Life After UW Oshkosh
- Completing an ES major gives you a breadth of knowledge about the environment, an ability to analyze the interdisciplinary character of environmental issues, and the liberal arts skills of critical thinking, clear writing, and research. It is aimed at producing citizens who can comprehend the full range of the scientific, social, and values dimensions of an environmental issue, apply critical thinking, and communicate effectively.
Knowing about different career possibilities is crucial. Don’t limit yourself to the common jobs (e.g., DNR). Assume there are more interesting options out there than you realize. Also think about graduate programs – they may enable you to really do what you want and get much better pay. The ES program has a copy of all books related to environmental careers – you can borrow them. The ES website also has lots of useful information about careers.
- Good grades not only can enable you to get into a graduate program, they can be the difference in getting the job you want and they may start you out with higher pay.
Developing special skills enable you to deal effectively with environmental issues and make you attractive to potential employers and graduate programs. These range from geographic information systems (GIS) to grant writing. Some of these are acquired in your academic courses, but others are developed in other endeavors, such as a summer internship, participation in an environmental organization, or special training at other institutions.
- Find out all you can about those different careers and graduate programs. Be sure to learn the qualifications that are usually expected. Don’t wait till you are a senior; read about environmental careers and look at current job listings early in your studies.
Gaining special experiences can make the difference in getting into the job or graduate school you want. Employers in particular value experience related to your field. You can gain such experience through academic internships, summer jobs or internships, volunteer opportunities, off campus study programs, etc.
- Find out what skills you need to achieve your goals and how you can gain them. Consider the possibilities of gaining skills in co-curricular and off campus activities.
Learning job-searching skills can make all the difference in getting a job or being accepted into a graduate program. These include resumes, cover letters, interviewing, and networking. You can be a great candidate, but if you can’t write a good resume or be effective in an interview, you may never get what you want.
- Find out what experiences make best sense for you field. And then go get them!
Knowing how to find relevant job listings and graduate programs is also crucial. You can’t get a job or get into a graduate program if you don’t know they exist. We make available to our students two paid subscriptions to current listings of environmental job openings. Alumni continue to have access to these listings after they have graduated.
- The ES program, in conjunction with Career Services, provides you with a format for developing these skills.
- The ES program provides you with ample resources to search for jobs and graduate programs.
What the Environmental Studies Program Offers
- A rigorous academic program that can enable you to pursue graduate studies.
- An emphasis on careers in addition to its liberal arts education.
- A substantial webpage on environmental careers.
- An extensive webpage on environmental graduate programs.
- Training in resumes, cover letters, and interviews.
- Special programs on careers and graduate schools.
- Information on opportunities for learning skills and gaining experience.
- Free access to comprehensive listings of currently available environmental jobs.