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Bachelors in environmental, natural resources, etc???

MarineTpartier

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I have really been racking my brain as to what degree I should pursue. I am interested in doing environmental compliance, conservation work, or something in the land management field. Degrees I have looked at are a BA in Environmental Studies, BS in Natural Resources, or a BS in Environmental Science. I think the BA in Enviro Studies is more touchy feely than actual usable course work honestly. Especially since it's a BA. The other two, not so much. Here's the kicker, I have to do almost all of my coursework online. I can do a few Biology labs but not much. Oregon State offers a great online course in both of these so I shouldn't have an issue with college.

Anyway, my question is, do any of you have any of these degrees? If so, what does the job market look like? I currently have 14 years in the Marine Corps (Im active duty) and will have a wife and 3 kids to support when I retire. I can't run around doing cool guy volunteer work for non-profits or run and fight forest fires in Cali. I gotta get a paycheck coming in relatively quickly once I retire. I will be retiring to upstate South Carolina. Anyone that can offer some advice, please let me know. I'm all ears.
 

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Don't know the degree this job takes, do know the guy said he stays busy and it is drilling small bore holes to check for contamination around landfills, service stations- anyplace they need to monitor underground contamination. Not lab coat kind of work, but hey your a jarhaid.... :mrgreen:

Though I suppose the guys analyzing the samples are more 9 to 5 staying at one location sort of work- better since you are knee deep in the family raising thing. :peace

Might look at what sort of work you want to do/pays like you wish and then back track to the degree that opens that door.
 

RabidAlpaca

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I'm an engineer, not an environmental guy, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but I would say definitely go with one of the BS's not the BA's. Science degrees will always make you more desirable in the job market, because you have a hard, solid skillset.

What you really should be doing is not looking for a degree, but look for your dream job first, then find out what education you need to get those jobs. Too many people pick degrees instead of jobs, and end up hating the job. Go out and find people doing your dream job, talk to them, see what it's like, what they studied.
 

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I'm an engineer, not an environmental guy, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but I would say definitely go with one of the BS's not the BA's. Science degrees will always make you more desirable in the job market, because you have a hard, solid skillset.

What you really should be doing is not looking for a degree, but look for your dream job first, then find out what education you need to get those jobs. Too many people pick degrees instead of jobs, and end up hating the job. Go out and find people doing your dream job, talk to them, see what it's like, what they studied.

I agree with this advice. Let me just add that if there are several majors which suffice for that job then you should look at the other jobs each would qualify you for and consider which set contains more jobs you'd be interested in. Having to move, a new invention, etc. can potentially remove your initial top choice from your options.
 

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Well, no I have none of those degrees, but I would try to adapt that career choice to where I would most likely end up living. for some people that is pretty important, and mismatching your location with your degree is often a financial disaster IMHO.

I agree you should go with the BS version of the degree if you can, and I would encourage you to try to get some kind of at least token experience in the job you would like to have. If for instance, you want to be a forest ranger, then look for something somehow related to forestry even if it is a volunteer internship type thing. A friend of mine who does wildlife management took a grant job in college that paid him about 1/3 of minimum wage on average, and sat at lakes somewhere--maybe it was South Dakota--counting gender and types of ducks that landed on whatever pond he was stationed at that week.
 

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The previous posters offer sound advice. I would mention in addition that few of the recent graduates in technical fields that I know are actually doing exactly what their degrees qualify them for. It's something to keep in mind. A young guy I recently met has a degree in electrical engineering, works for GE, and says nothing he does has anything to do with his degree at all. It's the disciplines he learned that make him viable and valuable, and not so much the course content.
 

MarineTpartier

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I'm an engineer, not an environmental guy, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but I would say definitely go with one of the BS's not the BA's. Science degrees will always make you more desirable in the job market, because you have a hard, solid skillset.

What you really should be doing is not looking for a degree, but look for your dream job first, then find out what education you need to get those jobs. Too many people pick degrees instead of jobs, and end up hating the job. Go out and find people doing your dream job, talk to them, see what it's like, what they studied.

I agree with this advice. Let me just add that if there are several majors which suffice for that job then you should look at the other jobs each would qualify you for and consider which set contains more jobs you'd be interested in. Having to move, a new invention, etc. can potentially remove your initial top choice from your options.

Well, no I have none of those degrees, but I would try to adapt that career choice to where I would most likely end up living. for some people that is pretty important, and mismatching your location with your degree is often a financial disaster IMHO.

I agree you should go with the BS version of the degree if you can, and I would encourage you to try to get some kind of at least token experience in the job you would like to have. If for instance, you want to be a forest ranger, then look for something somehow related to forestry even if it is a volunteer internship type thing. A friend of mine who does wildlife management took a grant job in college that paid him about 1/3 of minimum wage on average, and sat at lakes somewhere--maybe it was South Dakota--counting gender and types of ducks that landed on whatever pond he was stationed at that week.

The previous posters offer sound advice. I would mention in addition that few of the recent graduates in technical fields that I know are actually doing exactly what their degrees qualify them for. It's something to keep in mind. A young guy I recently met has a degree in electrical engineering, works for GE, and says nothing he does has anything to do with his degree at all. It's the disciplines he learned that make him viable and valuable, and not so much the course content.

Great advice from all. Thanks guys. I have quite a few job areas that I am looking at. I would like to do anything in environmental compliance ie private industry compliance with EPA/State regs. I would also like to get into land management or soil/water testing. I have done more research since posting this and have come to the conclusion that Enviro Science is probably the way to go. The BS in Natural Resources had far less Biology labs and far less math involved. The BS in ES requires Calc II and Statistics, Biology II, Chem labs, and a Physics credit. The BS in NR only requires College Algebra, Bio I, Chem I, and no Physics. It shocked me how soft the Natural Resources curriculum was.

My next question, considering I am talking to a couple of guys (that I know of) that have a math background (Rabid and Mathematician), is how to get spun back up on math. I am 33 years old and haven't done any thing beyond basic math since high school. I am currently using some online resources to get spun back up. I'm starting at Pre-Algebra and working my way up lol. Is there any other resources you guys know of? I am very ignorant of how college math progression works as well. Would I take a placement test and then go from there? I have spoken to a "counselor" at an online college but they are of no help. She speaks to me as if I'm a young 18-22 y/o kid that can't tell when he's being duped. She assures me "I'll be fine" lol. I know I'm not fine when it comes to math. They just want my money. Anyway, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks.
 

Fisher

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My next question, considering I am talking to a couple of guys (that I know of) that have a math background (Rabid and Mathematician), is how to get spun back up on math. I am 33 years old and haven't done any thing beyond basic math since high school. I am currently using some online resources to get spun back up. I'm starting at Pre-Algebra and working my way up lol. Is there any other resources you guys know of? I am very ignorant of how college math progression works as well. Would I take a placement test and then go from there? I have spoken to a "counselor" at an online college but they are of no help. She speaks to me as if I'm a young 18-22 y/o kid that can't tell when he's being duped. She assures me "I'll be fine" lol. I know I'm not fine when it comes to math. They just want my money. Anyway, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks.

If you have a decent bricks and mortar book store near you--which are getting harder to find--I would suggest you go there and buy a math tutoring/study guide book. Look at the ones they have and decide which one you seem to click with. Some of them are better suited than others for your learning style. I always preferred anything from Kaplan usually but some people always hated Kaplan guides, for instance. I had to take a math evaluation test at a traditional college to determine which class I should start in, but I am not sure about the online schools how they do it. I would assume an online placement test. You could probably email them to ask. College math is no different than HS math really, but it seemed college prof's were less likely to load you up with tricky problems like HS teachers will.
 

MarineTpartier

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If you have a decent bricks and mortar book store near you--which are getting harder to find--I would suggest you go there and buy a math tutoring/study guide book. Look at the ones they have and decide which one you seem to click with. Some of them are better suited than others for your learning style. I always preferred anything from Kaplan usually but some people always hated Kaplan guides, for instance. I had to take a math evaluation test at a traditional college to determine which class I should start in, but I am not sure about the online schools how they do it. I would assume an online placement test. You could probably email them to ask. College math is no different than HS math really, but it seemed college prof's were less likely to load you up with tricky problems like HS teachers will.
The school Im doing classes with will be Oregon State so I'm sure they will do a similar placement test to what they do with resident students. Thats a good call on getting a textbook as well. I didn't think of that. I've mostly been using the Khan Academy online for tutoring. Thanks for the help man.
 

Fisher

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The school Im doing classes with will be Oregon State so I'm sure they will do a similar placement test to what they do with resident students. Thats a good call on getting a textbook as well. I didn't think of that. I've mostly been using the Khan Academy online for tutoring. Thanks for the help man.

Yep good luck.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Great advice from all. Thanks guys. I have quite a few job areas that I am looking at. I would like to do anything in environmental compliance ie private industry compliance with EPA/State regs. I would also like to get into land management or soil/water testing. I have done more research since posting this and have come to the conclusion that Enviro Science is probably the way to go. The BS in Natural Resources had far less Biology labs and far less math involved. The BS in ES requires Calc II and Statistics, Biology II, Chem labs, and a Physics credit. The BS in NR only requires College Algebra, Bio I, Chem I, and no Physics. It shocked me how soft the Natural Resources curriculum was.

My next question, considering I am talking to a couple of guys (that I know of) that have a math background (Rabid and Mathematician), is how to get spun back up on math. I am 33 years old and haven't done any thing beyond basic math since high school. I am currently using some online resources to get spun back up. I'm starting at Pre-Algebra and working my way up lol. Is there any other resources you guys know of? I am very ignorant of how college math progression works as well. Would I take a placement test and then go from there? I have spoken to a "counselor" at an online college but they are of no help. She speaks to me as if I'm a young 18-22 y/o kid that can't tell when he's being duped. She assures me "I'll be fine" lol. I know I'm not fine when it comes to math. They just want my money. Anyway, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks.
Yeah, ES sounds better. The more technical you can go, the more valuable you'll be.

As far as how to get back into math. There are a million ways, but one that I can REALLY recommend and that REALLY helped me get through school was Khan's Academy. You sign into the site (trust me it's worth it) and you pick what it is you want to learn, say you want to start with pre-algebra. You can then work through the videos. He's a really amazing teacher, and he breaks it down VERY well. My only complaint is that he can sometimes break it down too far (kind of a dumb thing to say, I know). You can then go through tests for each section to test how you're doing.

All in all, you can work through pre-algebra, algebra, trig, geometry, pre-cal, calculus I, calculus 2, physics, biology, chemistry etc. etc. Pretty much any math you'll do in college will be on that site. I'm actually going back to school so I'm going through some stuff again. When I was in school, everybody would sit there confused with their jaw open each math lecture, then after the lecture we'd all go to Khan's Academy and watch the video for the lesson, then we'd immediately understand it.

EDIT: I just saw you post you already use Khan Academy. Well, now you just know you were doing the right thing. You might want to nab the textbook for the first math class you have to take so you can already be preparing.
 
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marywollstonecraft

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I have really been racking my brain as to what degree I should pursue. I am interested in doing environmental compliance, conservation work, or something in the land management field. Degrees I have looked at are a BA in Environmental Studies, BS in Natural Resources, or a BS in Environmental Science. I think the BA in Enviro Studies is more touchy feely than actual usable course work honestly. Especially since it's a BA. The other two, not so much. Here's the kicker, I have to do almost all of my coursework online. I can do a few Biology labs but not much. Oregon State offers a great online course in both of these so I shouldn't have an issue with college.

Anyway, my question is, do any of you have any of these degrees? If so, what does the job market look like? I currently have 14 years in the Marine Corps (Im active duty) and will have a wife and 3 kids to support when I retire. I can't run around doing cool guy volunteer work for non-profits or run and fight forest fires in Cali. I gotta get a paycheck coming in relatively quickly once I retire. I will be retiring to upstate South Carolina. Anyone that can offer some advice, please let me know. I'm all ears.

I am not in the US, but I have certainly seen a growth in these areas in recent years. I have come across people who have done undergrad in a BSc - Env Sci who have moved into some reasonable options. But the most successful financially were people who may have had a more general undergrad Science and then did a Grad Dip (one year - in environmental management. these people have been engaged by resource companies and in every level of government - as well as consultancy work. undergrad in that area may well be a better option looking at the paths I have seen.

In relation to a BA - I might not dismiss that if my interests were more in the sustainability side of things .... but I would probably be wanting to combine that with something else.
 

marywollstonecraft

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Great advice from all. Thanks guys. I have quite a few job areas that I am looking at. I would like to do anything in environmental compliance ie private industry compliance with EPA/State regs. I would also like to get into land management or soil/water testing. I have done more research since posting this and have come to the conclusion that Enviro Science is probably the way to go. The BS in Natural Resources had far less Biology labs and far less math involved. The BS in ES requires Calc II and Statistics, Biology II, Chem labs, and a Physics credit. The BS in NR only requires College Algebra, Bio I, Chem I, and no Physics. It shocked me how soft the Natural Resources curriculum was.

My next question, considering I am talking to a couple of guys (that I know of) that have a math background (Rabid and Mathematician), is how to get spun back up on math. I am 33 years old and haven't done any thing beyond basic math since high school. I am currently using some online resources to get spun back up. I'm starting at Pre-Algebra and working my way up lol. Is there any other resources you guys know of? I am very ignorant of how college math progression works as well. Would I take a placement test and then go from there? I have spoken to a "counselor" at an online college but they are of no help. She speaks to me as if I'm a young 18-22 y/o kid that can't tell when he's being duped. She assures me "I'll be fine" lol. I know I'm not fine when it comes to math. They just want my money. Anyway, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks.

I see you know about the Khan academy - I also couldn't stress enough that you take Rabid Alpaca's advice - I see a lot of mature age students who feel so ill prepared when it comes to maths - and if your college/uni does not have absolutely top support for returners when it comes to math/quantitative science - whether through a comprehensive bridging program or college/faculty based study advisors who provide free extra tuition, you can be at a real disadvantage. Some schools say they want to attract mature students, but they are still geared for kinds coming straight from school and it can be really demoralizing if you feel you are falling behind your younger classmates - which can happen. The good news is though, that when you get it - you really do get it.
 

humbolt

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Great advice from all. Thanks guys. I have quite a few job areas that I am looking at. I would like to do anything in environmental compliance ie private industry compliance with EPA/State regs. I would also like to get into land management or soil/water testing. I have done more research since posting this and have come to the conclusion that Enviro Science is probably the way to go. The BS in Natural Resources had far less Biology labs and far less math involved. The BS in ES requires Calc II and Statistics, Biology II, Chem labs, and a Physics credit. The BS in NR only requires College Algebra, Bio I, Chem I, and no Physics. It shocked me how soft the Natural Resources curriculum was.

My next question, considering I am talking to a couple of guys (that I know of) that have a math background (Rabid and Mathematician), is how to get spun back up on math. I am 33 years old and haven't done any thing beyond basic math since high school. I am currently using some online resources to get spun back up. I'm starting at Pre-Algebra and working my way up lol. Is there any other resources you guys know of? I am very ignorant of how college math progression works as well. Would I take a placement test and then go from there? I have spoken to a "counselor" at an online college but they are of no help. She speaks to me as if I'm a young 18-22 y/o kid that can't tell when he's being duped. She assures me "I'll be fine" lol. I know I'm not fine when it comes to math. They just want my money. Anyway, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks.
I'll defer to the math guys, but I will tell you that like you, I took engineering calculus at 33. You are correct to go back to basic algebra. If you don't have the very basic manipulations well in hand, more advanced math becomes extremely difficult.
 

MarineTpartier

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Yeah, ES sounds better. The more technical you can go, the more valuable you'll be.

As far as how to get back into math. There are a million ways, but one that I can REALLY recommend and that REALLY helped me get through school was Khan's Academy. You sign into the site (trust me it's worth it) and you pick what it is you want to learn, say you want to start with pre-algebra. You can then work through the videos. He's a really amazing teacher, and he breaks it down VERY well. My only complaint is that he can sometimes break it down too far (kind of a dumb thing to say, I know). You can then go through tests for each section to test how you're doing.

All in all, you can work through pre-algebra, algebra, trig, geometry, pre-cal, calculus I, calculus 2, physics, biology, chemistry etc. etc. Pretty much any math you'll do in college will be on that site. I'm actually going back to school so I'm going through some stuff again. When I was in school, everybody would sit there confused with their jaw open each math lecture, then after the lecture we'd all go to Khan's Academy and watch the video for the lesson, then we'd immediately understand it.

EDIT: I just saw you post you already use Khan Academy. Well, now you just know you were doing the right thing. You might want to nab the textbook for the first math class you have to take so you can already be preparing.

I am not in the US, but I have certainly seen a growth in these areas in recent years. I have come across people who have done undergrad in a BSc - Env Sci who have moved into some reasonable options. But the most successful financially were people who may have had a more general undergrad Science and then did a Grad Dip (one year - in environmental management. these people have been engaged by resource companies and in every level of government - as well as consultancy work. undergrad in that area may well be a better option looking at the paths I have seen.

In relation to a BA - I might not dismiss that if my interests were more in the sustainability side of things .... but I would probably be wanting to combine that with something else.

I'll defer to the math guys, but I will tell you that like you, I took engineering calculus at 33. You are correct to go back to basic algebra. If you don't have the very basic manipulations well in hand, more advanced math becomes extremely difficult.
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the encouragement. I am leaning towards the BS in Natural Resources right now. Honestly, I think it would give me a better shot at getting a job in the area I will be retiring from the Marine Corps too. Thanks again.
 

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Great advice from all. Thanks guys. I have quite a few job areas that I am looking at. I would like to do anything in environmental compliance ie private industry compliance with EPA/State regs. I would also like to get into land management or soil/water testing. I have done more research since posting this and have come to the conclusion that Enviro Science is probably the way to go. The BS in Natural Resources had far less Biology labs and far less math involved. The BS in ES requires Calc II and Statistics, Biology II, Chem labs, and a Physics credit. The BS in NR only requires College Algebra, Bio I, Chem I, and no Physics. It shocked me how soft the Natural Resources curriculum was.

My next question, considering I am talking to a couple of guys (that I know of) that have a math background (Rabid and Mathematician), is how to get spun back up on math. I am 33 years old and haven't done any thing beyond basic math since high school. I am currently using some online resources to get spun back up. I'm starting at Pre-Algebra and working my way up lol. Is there any other resources you guys know of? I am very ignorant of how college math progression works as well. Would I take a placement test and then go from there? I have spoken to a "counselor" at an online college but they are of no help. She speaks to me as if I'm a young 18-22 y/o kid that can't tell when he's being duped. She assures me "I'll be fine" lol. I know I'm not fine when it comes to math. They just want my money. Anyway, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks.

Yeah, ES sounds better. The more technical you can go, the more valuable you'll be.

As far as how to get back into math. There are a million ways, but one that I can REALLY recommend and that REALLY helped me get through school was Khan's Academy. You sign into the site (trust me it's worth it) and you pick what it is you want to learn, say you want to start with pre-algebra. You can then work through the videos. He's a really amazing teacher, and he breaks it down VERY well. My only complaint is that he can sometimes break it down too far (kind of a dumb thing to say, I know). You can then go through tests for each section to test how you're doing.

All in all, you can work through pre-algebra, algebra, trig, geometry, pre-cal, calculus I, calculus 2, physics, biology, chemistry etc. etc. Pretty much any math you'll do in college will be on that site. I'm actually going back to school so I'm going through some stuff again. When I was in school, everybody would sit there confused with their jaw open each math lecture, then after the lecture we'd all go to Khan's Academy and watch the video for the lesson, then we'd immediately understand it.

EDIT: I just saw you post you already use Khan Academy. Well, now you just know you were doing the right thing. You might want to nab the textbook for the first math class you have to take so you can already be preparing.

I can back Khan Academy as well. If you have an iPad or iPhone, I like to study courses through iTunes U, and Khan is available on there.

Another suggestion I have is hitting up the thrift stores for a few math books. There you can find handy books for only a dollar or two. By now, you know which math courses you need to review. A math textbook which is twenty years old is as good, if not better, than a new textbook. Modern books have unnecessary photos, colors, etc. which serve as nothing more than distractions.
 

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I can back Khan Academy as well. If you have an iPad or iPhone, I like to study courses through iTunes U, and Khan is available on there.

Another suggestion I have is hitting up the thrift stores for a few math books. There you can find handy books for only a dollar or two. By now, you know which math courses you need to review. A math textbook which is twenty years old is as good, if not better, than a new textbook. Modern books have unnecessary photos, colors, etc. which serve as nothing more than distractions.

Yeah but I'd say it'd be even better to hit up half.ebay.com or amazon.com. That way he can look at reviews and previews to get the absolute best book possible.

Half.ebay.com is amazing, I got one of my textbooks one year for $2.
 
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