The Garlick Press: Unemployment among conservationalists

The school year is ending quickly, and as a second semester senior, I am looking forward to my college experience. In my free time, I’ve been researching my major, environmental science. Within the schools I have applied for, the programs are wonderful, with plenty of opportunities for internships and studying abroad.

I cannot wait to get started on my future, working in labs and publishing papers about pollution levels and the health of local forests.

After getting excited about my major, I started thinking more about where my future degree would take me. I searched for job opportunities that arise from an environmental science degree.

My excitement quickly diminished when I was dismayed to find the lack of employment within these jobs. I scrolled through forums among forums of people who had graduated with similar degrees and had been job-hunting for years, without prevail.

After freaking out for a short while, I wondered why this could be. But after revisiting CNN and ABC news later that day, it was clear what the reason was: our current government. Most of this conflict comes from political figures who refuse to support or believe the proof behind global warming and environmental change.

It makes sense, but baffles me at the same time. Why is it so hard to get hired as an environmental scientist, when global warming is looming over all of us? Yet still we hear about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) being shut down more and more due to current political standings in the White House.

Hopefully, the future will not be so difficult to compete in for environmental specialists and consultants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental scientists and specialists should expect employment in their field to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2029, a rate faster than average occupations.

My hope is that the looming threat of irreversible changes in the weather and our environment will spring every country to action. This may seem dire, but global warming is an imminent threat to the health of everyone on earth, and this field of study and advocacy will step up to solve these issues.

For all my fellow aspiring environmentalists, our efforts will not be in vain to make a difference. Saving the planet will be our job, and protecting our future is in our hands.

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