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Environment and conservation work

Each year large numbers of students are keen to enter this sector, but sometimes it can be difficult to find permanent jobs in some areas.  As there is no single environmental profession, you need to be clear about what you mean by “environmental work” as it encompasses a wide range of jobs in industry, local and national government and voluntary organisations. 

Work experience, often voluntary, can be very important both in developing contacts and in gaining experience. The University of Exeter paid internship schemes may have environmental job placements which could be valuable to career planning and progression. Also, the Green Consultants training programme can provide training and a placement for students interested in the environment and sustainability.

It is worthwhile taking a very broad view of this sector and areas such as recycling, waste management and alternative energy tend to be better financed than purely ecological areas and will therefore offer more job opportunities. A relevant postgraduate course may enhance your chances of entering this competitive field. The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), the leading body for anyone working in the environmental or sustainability profession, has produced a Skills Map for those interested in developing their skills and career development.

Career Zone Employability Schemes

These employability schemes can help increase your work experience and networks in this area.

  • Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremelyuseful, so try to get relevant vacation work or placements.  
  • Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.  
  • Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period. 
  • Professional Pathways - a suite of sectorspecific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June.

Information Resources

To see if there are any Exeter alumni working in this sector that you can get in touch with, go to the LinkedIn Alumni tool


Volunteering Opportunities Overseas

Other paper based resources:

If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study. 

It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).