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Sustainability is about striking a balance between social equity and justice, economic growth, and environmental protection. Students will develop and understanding and an appreciation of the natural and social environment and the consequences of human’s interactions with the environment. Areas of stud include water catchment, vegetation and wildlife management, biodiversity and habitat protection , water usage, environmental planning and impact assessment, and public awareness and community participation in environmental decision-making.
Graduates enter careers in all levels of government and non-government organisations, with involvement in environmental resource management, academic institutions, and research organisations. Careers can also be pursued abroad, in NGOs and international donor agencies, typically in developing countries.
Further Study Options
Some jobs require additional qualifications at Honours level. Honours is a one year stand-alone program, completed after successfully fulfilling the requirements of the undergraduate degree. View Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (Honours).
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the postgraduate study options following the Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management include:
Postgraduate coursework programs can add further specialisations in areas including business, safety, quality assurance and teaching. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The Planning Institute of Australia website contains a list of courses that are accredited for those interested in the field of urban and regional planning.
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates of a Bachelor of Environmental Science majorin in Sustainability. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, while some may require further study.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained from a major in Sustainability.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Sustainability graduates find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- Australian Marine Parks Listing (Australia)
- Australian Museum (Australia)
- Australian Ports Authorities Listing (Australia)
- BHP Billiton (Australia)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Climate Change (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW) (Australia)
- Department of Environment and Heritage (Australia)
- Department of Local Government NSW (Australia)
- Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NT) (Australia)
- Department of Primary Industries (NSW) (Australia)
- Environmental Resources Management (Australia)
- Friends of the Earth Australia (Australia)
- Greenpeace Australia (Australia)
- National Parks and Wildlife Service (Australia)
- NSW Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) (Australia)
- NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure (Australia)
- NSW Fire Brigade (Australia)
- Orica (International)
- Rio Tinto (International)
- Santos (Australia)
- Sydney Water (Australia)
- United Nations Development Project (Australia)
- Wilderness Society (Australia)
- Woodside (Australia)
- Xstrata (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
Below are links to a variety of related Environmental Science and Management societies and organisations.
- Australian Conservation Foundation (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Marine Science (Australia)
- Australian Marine Conservation Society (Australia)
- Australian Marine Science Association (Australia)
- Ecological Society of Australia (Australia)
- Environmental Consultants Association (Australia)
- The Environmental Management Systems Association (Australia)
- Geographical Society of New South Wales (Australia)
- Institute of Australian Geographers inc (Australia)
- International Institute for Sustainable Development (International)
- Native Forest Network Australia (Australia)
- Sustainable Development Association (Australia)
- Waste Management Association of Australia (Australia)
- World Association for Sustainable Development (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Bachelor of Environmental Science graduates majoring in Sustainability will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect:
- Comprehensive theoretical and applied knowledge of environmental science and its application in environmental management within an interdisciplinary natural and social sciences base.
- The capacity for incisive, ethical and independent thinking on issues of environmental management and sustainability at all scales & the ability to apply knowledge in these diverse contexts.
- The capacity for analysis of environmental processes and problems, coupled with the ability to develop management strategies for environmental protection, remediation or restoration.
- Experience and skills in working as part of interdisciplinary teams and with diverse stakeholders.
- Advanced written, oral and other communication and negotiation skills.