Published: May 16, 2023

Environmental policy and management are increasingly important areas of study with applications in the government, private and public sectors. With growing climate change and environmental concerns, it’s easy to see why. According to Pew Research Center surveys from 2022, 42% of U.S. adults feel climate change should be a top legislative priority. Additional concerns such as air, water and plastic pollution top the list of the most pressing environmental issues currently facing the United States.

Facing these environmental issues is a large task that will take planning, cooperation and the efforts of educated and skilled workers across multiple disciplines. This creates opportunities for those passionate about having an impact on environmental issues. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental scientists and specialists can expect a 5% increase in jobs by 2031.

With environmental concerns at a peak, the need for educated professionals to tackle such issues is likely to grow. Alanna Lecher, associate professor at Lynn University’s College of Arts and Sciences, explains that an environmental policy and management degree aims to help students navigate the policy world and the business arena.

“The environmental policy and management degree is broad, and it pulls from the natural sciences, social sciences and business fields,” says Lecher.

Here is a closer look at what the environmental policy and management degree program may prepare you for and who is best suited for a career within the field.

What is environmental policy and management?

Environmental science studies the relationship between humans and the natural environment. A degree in environmental policy and management focuses on the following:

  • Developing, implementing and enforcing policies designed to protect the environment.
  • Promoting, examining and understanding sustainable practices locally and on a larger scale. While this is a government function, many businesses are also leading the way in environmental efforts.

“How we address environmental problems is not just being spearheaded by the government; businesses are also leading it. These businesses desire to undertake a more sustainable solution to reduce their waste output, carbon emissions or other impacts that they may have on the environment,” says Lecher.

While the idea that companies are working to implement environmentally-friendly policies on their own may seem surprising, it’s certainly significant. According to Lecher, the government can lead in solving environmental problems. Still, businesses can move faster, especially when they have policy experts to help them.

What do you learn in the environmental policy and management program?

Students must become well-versed in a broad range of topics that span from science and statistics to conservation to public policy and the law.

She also says that quantitative skills are highly valued in the environmental field. “This includes becoming proficient in inferential statistics, which is used to discern real findings and real differences in data.” According to Lecher, students also learn to analyze spatial data, generate maps, interpret maps and communicate spatial information. These skills are especially important to those entering the workforce.

Lecher says, “The specific knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is required for [many] entry-level environmental positions.”

Lynn’s online environmental policy and management degree also teaches students:

  • Ethical decision-making, environmental risk and public health
  • Geopolitical issues affecting environmental policy
  • How different populations interact with the environment
  • Human impact on the environment

The end goal of earning an environmental policy and management degree is to prepare students to have a real-world impact. Lecher explains that Lynn’s program focuses on helping students develop realistic and implementable solutions that they can actually convince governments or businesses to adopt. Additionally, it prepares students to be able to communicate those ideas to decision-makers in the government and business world.

What kind of jobs are available in environmental policy and management?

The environmental policy and management degree prepares students to pursue careers in both the public and private sectors. Lecher says, “This degree is really tailored to give students the skills that employers seek.”

Those who successfully complete the program have many options, including but not limited to the following types of positions:

  • Environmental assessor
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental lobbyist
  • Environmental policy analyst
  • Environmental program manager

Who would be a good fit for the environmental policy and management program?

You are not required to have a background or foundational knowledge to enroll in Lynn’s environmental policy and management program. All you need is to be interested in the field and have a passion for creating change. It’s also important that students are open to being challenged because gaining skills within the degree program requires them to think critically.

Lecher further explains, “Working in the environmental field requires you to realize that your view of how the world works is not how everyone sees it. And you have to consider those other ideologies and concepts when trying to make practical changes. Because of this, we want our students to be very open to new experiences and ideas.”

Anyone within the following groups may be a good fit for an environmental policy and management degree:

  • People passionate about protecting the environment and promoting sustainable practices
  • People with strong verbal, analytical, written and critical thinking skills
  • People who want to have a positive impact on government policies and business practices

Interested in earning an environmental policy and management degree?

Environmental policy and management will become increasingly important as the world faces environmental challenges. By earning a degree, you can gain the necessary skills and knowledge you need to have a positive impact. Still, more than just academic and theoretical knowledge is necessary. “We don’t want our students to graduate with some knowledge,” Lecher says. “We want them to have very practical skills that they can document and put on their resume.”

Lynn’s online environmental policy and management program provides you with the background you need to understand the most common environmental issues broadly. It also gives you the skills to work with individuals, companies and other groups of people to influence policy changes.

Those interested in environmental policy and management should explore Lynn University’s online Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Management. If you have questions about this or other degree programs, please contact us today.

Notes and conditions - PLEASE READ

Employment and career advancement: Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Lynn University does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement.

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