I am interested in studying Environmental Science. Is it a good idea to pursue it, especially if it is not from a top-ranked university?

A degree in Environmental Science would focus on this extremely relevant and socially conscious subject. This is a relative new interdisciplinary programme and includes in-depth knowledge of not only the traditional sciences like biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, but also the social sciences like economics, business and sociology. The study of such diverse subjects could be a challenge but is necessary to take an integrated approach to the problems facing humanity.

Sustainable life, without damaging environmental balance, planning and saving natural resources like water and forests and the usage of clean, renewable energy are some of the points of study in these programmes.

[Courses, career opportunities in sustainable development]

Like other science programmes, a degree in environmental sciences would require field work in conjunction with laboratory analytics. Field work would include trips to different regions to study the habitat, land formation, climate, flora and fauna. In addition work placements and voluntary internships will help develop skills required during a job hunt. Within this generalist degree students eventually graduate with a specialisation in a select area – water conservation, renewable energy, sustainable food programme etc.

In addition to a career in the field of specialisation a degree in Environmental Science offers a plethora of job opportunities in urban planning, environmental management, environmental litigation, policy development and agriculture. Environmental scientists collect samples of water and soil, and analyse the components to determine chemicals present and suggest corrective measures. Environmental lawyers help draft policies and regulations for clean air, water, pollutants and chemical waste. A marine biologist analyses marine plants, animals and organisms in their natural habitat to help conserve under-water equilibrium.

The American University of Sharjah offers a BSc in Environmental Sciences. This extensive course gives an insight in environmental modelling, historical facts, management tools like ISO 14001 and different dimensions of ecological resources. University of California in Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Florida, and University of Texas offer some of the best courses in the US. Imperial College, London, in the UK offers a graduate course in Environmental Science. National University of Singapore is an excellent campus for international students to pursue this course.

Sanjeev Verma is an international education counsellor. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.