Career Opportunities Furman University


The field of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers a diverse array of career opportunities. To quote an old quarryman, "If you can't grow it, it comes from the ground". Our entire modern society is based on the exploitation of Earth's resources, primarily soil, water, strategic minerals, and petroleum. Thus Earth and Environmental Sciences majors study how planet Earth functions, how human activities affect Earth processes and resources, and how humans deal with issues associated with the exploitation of Earth resources. As a result, most, but not all, majors continue study at the graduate level prior to entering the work force. Furman, as a liberal arts institution, provides you with the background to choose from any area.

Students focusing on Sustainability Science also have a broad range of career opportunities. Sustainability Science explores the dynamic relationships among social, economic, and environmental systems in order to enhance long-term quality of life. Sustainability and sustainability science are emerging fields, and there is tremendous opportunity to create your own path in sustainability. There are growing numbers of graduate programs in sustainability and sustainability science, and students with a background in sustainability science will be prepared for a variety of graduate and professional school experiences. Interdisciplinary training, gained through the study of sustainability, is ideal for today's complex social, environmental, and economic problems.

Science and Engineering Careers:

  • Soil Sciences/Agriculture
  • Hydrogeology/Environmental Sciences
  • Bioremediation
  • Petroleum Exploration
  • Exploration Water Resource Exploration
  • Oceanography
  • Civil Engineering
  • Engineering

Teaching Careers:

  • Secondary Education
  • Junior/Community College Education*
  • University Education*

*requires Ph.D.

Law/Policy Careers:

  • Land-use Management
  • Resource Management
  • Urban Planning
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Conflict Resolution/Mediation
  • Environmental Policy Agriculture Policy

Sustainability and Sustainability Science Careers:

  • Government (for example, Sustainability Coordinator/Manager for a city or county government)
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Transportation planning
  • Corporate sustainability (Sustainability Manager or Coordinator;; e.g., Vice President for Sustainability
  • Advocacy
  • Non-profits (especially those focusing on conservation, social well-being, quality of life, economic development, and natural resource management)
  • Architecture and green building
  • Urban planning
  • Sustainability-Related Law
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Energy Management (Renewable and Other)
  • Natural Resource Management and Conservation (e.g., water, land, air)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability Technology (e.g., Life Cycle Analyst, Geographic Information Systems Analyst)

A Note About Careers: Remember, Furman University is a liberal arts college. Theoretically, if you major in Earth and Environmental Sciences, you should be able to enter nearly any career path. Interested in English? Write books like John McPhee. Want to go to medical school? Take additional biology. Our majors have gone on to many diverse careers outside of the earth and environmental sciences, including.... The point is, if you have an interest in environmental issues, where mountains come from, gems, energy issues, climate etc., the Earth and Environmental Sciences major is for you!

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