This document is aimed at those at school or university to help them to decide whether a career in ecology or environmental management is for them. It contains practical advice on the employers, the work, qualifications and qualities needed to get a job, combined with career profiles written by people already working in the sector.
There are a large number of undergraduate courses available in ecology or environmental management. These courses will have been designed with different endpoints in mind and consequently the course taken may have a major influence on the skills and knowledge that you will obtain.
In recent years it has become apparent that there is a shortage of people entering the profession with appropriate field skills. This document has been written so that anyone applying to study at university will know the level of field survey skills expected of a new graduate.
The ‘Survey Skills Pyramid’, which had been developed by Sarah Whild and Sue Townsend (©2003), separated biological survey skills into levels of competence. The competence levels covered all stages of experience from beginners to experts (such as national referees). The pyramid provided an effective guideline for the development of survey skills and provided details for the expected level of experience required to progress from stage to stage. The pyramid provided the CIEEM Training, Education and Career Development Committee with a framework that could be adapted in order to match the levels of field ecology skills competence to education and career progression. The outcome is the Field Ecology Skills Guide, which has been separated into two components; education and career progression.
This article by CIEEM’s former Training and Career Development Officer, Nick Jackson, highlights some of the myths that exist around the environmental profession.
Useful websites for further information:
Volunteering/work experience opportunities:
CIEEM Student webinars