Global warming, scarcity of resources, extinction of species – looking at the daily news can turn out to be very different. If we operate as before, a collapse of the earth’s own ecosystem seems inevitable. In the meantime, this message has also reached politicians, business bosses and ordinary people.
An estimated two million people work in the field of environmental protection in Germany alone . But that is not enough to bring about real change. The universities have reacted and set up courses on the subject of environmental protection.
The technical degree program in environmental protection: B.Sc. or B.Eng.?
According to liuxers, universities and technical colleges offer the subject of environmental protection. It is intended to convey ecological, technical, economic and legal aspects on the subject of environmental protection to the students. Depending on the university, individual content has come to the fore.
There are degree programs that concentrate on engineering content and lead to a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.). Other courses focus on scientific , economic or other content and conclude with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.).
Structure of the bachelor’s degree
Basically, the bachelor’s degree is interdisciplinary . At the beginning, the basic scientific knowledge that is necessary for further studies is imparted. Subjects such as biology , physics , chemistry or mathematics are on the curriculum . In the field of engineering, too, students are introduced to the basics of construction or process engineering.
In addition, economic subjects and environmental law fundamentals are on the program. In the higher semesters, students can then specialize in one or more sub-areas of the large topic of environmental protection. Depending on the university, there are disciplines such as environmental technology, waste disposal or species protection to choose from.
Specialization in the master’s degree
Anyone who wants to work in the higher administrative service or management positions in the economy should add a master’s degree to the bachelor’s degree. This is also a prerequisite for a doctorate and a subsequent academic career.
As in the bachelor’s degree, students can choose between engineering and other study programs. The universities offer very different areas of focus, for example water protection, waste management or environmental analysis. Some of the master’s programs are designed as distance learning courses that can be completed alongside work.
Qualifications for studying environmental protection
Prospective students should of course bring along the desire to fight current environmental problems. In order to be successful in your studies, however, you also need to be interested in natural science subjects such as biology, physics or mathematics. Some universities require a pre-study internship lasting several weeks or proof of relevant vocational training in order to be able to start studying.
Possible employers in environmental protection
The topic of environmental protection is becoming more important in all areas of life. When developing new products, more and more industrial companies ensure that they are environmentally friendly and that they are produced as sustainably as possible.
Core areas in environmental protection
The know-how of graduates in the field of environmental protection is required in particular in the chemical industry , in the building material and paper industry , as well as in the waste and energy industries . For example, they develop environmentally friendly production processes or ensure that environmental protection regulations are complied with.
Another career option is working in engineering offices that specialize in environmental technology systems. Some graduates set up their own engineering office. Self-employed work as an environmental consultant or expert is also conceivable.
Environmental protection in the public service
Many graduates also work in the public sector. For example, you work in municipal and state administrations or are employed by federal authorities . Her tasks include, among other things, the control of companies with regard to compliance with environmental protection guidelines or internal and external training.
If, on the other hand, you are drawn into the distance, you have a chance of a position in development aid – especially with an engineering degree . Master’s graduates are also free to pursue a doctorate and pursue an academic career. For example, you work for state and private research institutions or stay as a lecturer at the university.
Study environmental protection internationally
Environmental protection is not a local issue; it must be thought of globally. Many environmental problems can only be solved on an international level . Even in engineering offices and large industrial companies, graduates often work in international teams.
That is why graduates of the subject of environmental protection ideally have foreign language skills and intercultural skills. One or more semesters abroad give students the opportunity to train these skills. Apart from that, studying abroad can give students a new perspective on the global context of environmental protection . A semester abroad also signals characteristics such as commitment, flexibility and organizational talent to future employers.