EES Choose Your Own Adventure! Section 5: Graduate School

Thinking about whether graduate school is right for you? Start by checking out this resource to help guide your questions and decision-making. You might consider how experience in the field you’re interested in may be necessary to inform your graduate learning. Alternatively, going straight from undergrad might help keep your academic momentum going. Both options have pros and cons that are important to consider. 

As far as an EES career, there are some industries that do require a graduate degree. For the sustainability and environmental arenas, if you want to pursue policy or education, a graduate degree is standard to pursue after a few years of experience. How do you know what type of graduate program to apply for? Internships and other real-world experiences can help point the way where you want to go. A graduate degree in environmental policy or environmental science can lead to jobs like an environmental policy analyst, conservation scientist, environmental engineer, or sustainability consultant. They can also lead to advanced roles in Environmental Management and Senior Consultant positions. 

At O’Neill, we offer several graduate programs appropriate for the EES sector. We have a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree, Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) degree, a dual degree with the two programs, and a Master of Environmental Sustainability (MES) degree. Within the degrees, there are several options for concentrations in the environmental sector. 

Is a graduate degree right for you? As you apply, keep in mind these key tips from Patrick Lewis in O’Neill’s Masters Programs Office:

  • Your resume for applying for graduate school does not need to be one page – it can be longer to include all of the great experiences you have had in the field and throughout your academic career
  • Be wary of the type of degree program you are applying for – is it a research program or a professional program? O’Neill’s is a professional master’s program that pushes students into the field and has a lot of practical experience built into it.
  • Tailor your personal statement for each school. Most of the time there is a prompt and word-limit that is school-specific. O’Neill’s prompt is about leading for the greater good. Compelling personal statements talk about your background and personal experiences. Those that shine through are those that can tie in resume past-experiences that have informed their decision to come to graduate school and continue their career in public service. 

Over the next few months, EES will dive deeper into the realms of Environment, Energy, and Sustainability industry knowledge and what the job market looks like across the sectors. Check back weekly to see what new resources are available!