Author Topic: What are your thoughts on this college major?  (Read 4359 times)

lcc1011

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What are your thoughts on this college major?
« on: February 25, 2014, 08:50:26 PM »
I'm thinking about getting a degree in business sustainability. I've always been passionate about the environment and it relates well to many of my own personal beliefs. I sometimes doubt though whether or not its a marketable skill to have? Would this be a stupid move to major in something like this? It's a new program at a state school that I'm interested in, however, I can't think of any jobs related to it?


Thank you

the fixer

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 09:00:20 PM »
I'm not even sure what that means... is it about how to brand a business as environmentally friendly or something?

If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably approach it this way: start looking at entry-level job listings that you think you'd like to have soon after you graduate. Note what degree they're asking for on each listing, and look for patterns. You might be better off with an environmental science/policy degree, a biology degree, a chemistry degree, or something completely different depending on what exactly you want to do.

lcc1011

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 09:05:14 PM »
The actual degree is called "Envionment, economics, development, and sustainability" and has multiple specialization still choose from, if that clears it up.

the fixer

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 09:17:25 PM »
That makes a lot more sense, my school called it Environmental Science and Policy with a few specialties underneath it. In fact, there might have been a business-related one. I briefly considered going that route, but by then I was a junior and would have been stuck there for two or more extra years.

In interdisciplinary majors like this, it can be easy to stay away from the more technical aspects, such as the science, math, hardcore economics, statistics, etc. These subjects are hard but they are extremely important to employers, and will open up lots more opportunities if you need to go further like grad school. My earlier advice still applies: look for jobs you want, and see what they require.

mlipps

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 09:28:43 PM »
I think it's too broad and not deep enough for an undergrad degree. And I highly agree w/the fixer that these kinds of interdisciplinary majors tend to skip the harder parts of a topic.

Plus it will be a pain in the butt to explain to people. Get a business degree w/an enviro science minor and save your breath.

lcc1011

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 09:31:22 PM »
The fixer, what degree did you end up getting? And did you get a degree in that field? At this point it wouldn't be hard for me to change my major, I am still completing my GE requirements so I'm still exploring other options.

Thanks for the replies too

lcc1011

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 09:39:18 PM »
I'm sorry I mean a job in that field. I hate using my phone for forums.

the fixer

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 10:44:07 PM »
The fixer, what degree did you end up getting? And did you get a degree in that field? At this point it wouldn't be hard for me to change my major, I am still completing my GE requirements so I'm still exploring other options.

Thanks for the replies too
Don't do what I did. I got an astronomy degree because the classes were challenging but fun. I realized later, though, that they were only fun for me because I am REALLY good at math and the physical sciences. I had an epiphany lately on this subject: I studied something I enjoyed learning about but didn't really have a passion for. This caught up to me my senior year when I decided to take a graduate-level astronomy class. Once I got to this level, I still had the natural talent, but I was surrounded by grad students who were willing to work 10x as hard as I was on all the homework and studying for tests. I didn't have the motivation to keep up. This is a closer approximation of what the real world is like than undergrad classes, where intelligence and talent can let the top performers coast through.

After I graduated I found jobs in IT and web development because I had a lot of programming experience from high school and self-directed tinkering. They pay well but I've never really enjoyed them, and never worked for an employer longer than about 2.5 years before I got fed up with it. Once again, I'm in a field where I have a lot of natural talent, but I don't work hard at it AT ALL, not because I don't have to, but because I don't want to. You'd never be able to tell, though, if you asked my previous bosses, coworkers, and clients; they all love me. It's a sure-fire way to hate your job, and getting away from easy money is difficult so I'm still in the field (sorta). Self-employment is the only way I can stand it, which is pretty nice, but I suspect I'd have been happier doing something else.

No Name Guy

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 10:59:04 PM »
Forgive the harshness.....what you're saying is like waving a red flag in front of a bull......here's the wind up.....and the face punch is coming.

OP:  Go for it....if you're already rich enough to take a course of study in a new, nebulous "luxury" warm fuzzy field.

If you have to borrow money or even have to bust your (or your parents) ass for tuition, skip the bullshit new fluff degrees and go for a degree that "closes the business case" and has a concrete, measurable ability to positively improve the world.  Engineering at an in state, state school, after doing your first 2 years a community college is an example of a degree (and how to go about getting it) that will "close the business case".

If you want to ACTUALLY do something for the environment and humanity (and in something that is also a good career field), try Civil Engineering and then go into waste water.  Believe it or not, there are still first world cities (cough, cough - Victoria, British Columbia, to name the local cheapskate bastards) that pour untreated shit filled sewage laden with all kinds of nasty bacteria, etc into the ocean, while Seattle (not too far away) goes for full on secondary treatment.  Right across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria is Port Angeles, WA, they have a secondary treatment system, to provide a direct compare and contrast where there are 2 cities both fronting on the Strait. 
https://www.cityofpa.us/pwWasteWtr.htm

And to the local Victoria folks who claim the current system isn't bad - why don't you set some crab pots within 1/4 mile of the outflows....and eat your catch?  Mmmmm....fecal coliform, yum, yum. 

Waterborne disease from poor waste sanitation (and poor fresh water systems) is one of the biggest killers world wide (I just read the other day how in India, more people have cell phones than toilets connected to a municipal sewage system).  The number I'm finding via The Google is 3.4 million mostly preventable deaths per year from water borne disease.  Never mind all the damage to rivers, lakes, oceans, etc from pouring trillions of gallons of untreated sewage into the environment every year.  Is dealing with shit water glamorous?  Heck no, but know that it IS one of the hallmarks of a civilization that cares about both its people and the environment, and it pays reasonably well to boot. 

You can care (with real world measurable action) AND do well in the process with Civil Engineering.  "Business Sustainability" is a fashionable buzzword bullshit label for fuzzy concepts that will likely have no measurable, positive impact on the actual environment or humanity.

End face punching rant....sorry.

MDM

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 12:27:31 AM »
Spend some time with your college's "career services" (or whatever name is given to the place employers come to interview) people.  Ask them questions raised in other replies, and find out who comes to interview for people with the degree you are considering.

desk_jockey

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 10:28:43 AM »
Medium and large sized companies use screening software.  You donít want a major that the software doesnít understand and cannot categories.  You want an STEM degree (preferably engineering) or a business degree.   Take all your electives in environment and sustainability, perhaps even get a minor in it, but get a core major degree.

If you graduate in civil or mechanical engineering, it would be easy to target your internships and future job search in this type of environmental area.   If you graduate with the degree described, you have a less of a chance of landing a job in the field than a traditional engineering program, and a far greater chance of never getting your foot in the door (and instead joining other graduates at Starbucks). 

Get a core degree, work a few years in this field, and then if you are really passionate about it you can go back and get a Masters of a more specific field of environmental sustainability.


Jomar

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Re: What are your thoughts on this college major?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 12:51:58 PM »
I have a somewhat similar degree (B.Sc. in Environmental Studies, in a stream called "Global Environmental Issues"). It was very broad, like yours sounds, and I had a lot of fun, and learned a fair bit. But if employability  is what you're after, you might have trouble. I managed to get a job eventually (as an Environmental Scientist), but it was through networking and despite my degree, rather than because of it. Like another commentator said, you'd be better of going into engineering or a hard science (chemistry, math, ecology, zoology, etc.) if you want a job in the environment field. And if you're leaning towards the business side, you'd be better off getting a business degree of some sort, or going into communications or some sort of artsy tech thingy. Green businesses aren't really looking for environmentalists with fluffy degrees, they're looking for people with technical skills.