Students studying the environment and sustainability appear to be having an increasingly difficult time securing the kind of work they want. A Net Impact Study surveying graduate students suggests that those who complete and environmentally oriented degree are increasingly less likely to get jobs that are aligned with their values.
In the absence of their ideal jobs many students feel obliged to settle for what they can get. There has been an 8 percent increase in the number of students that say, “At this point, I feel pressure to take any role,” (27 percent in 2013 to 35 percent in 2014).
This is part of a trend that has been emerging for the last couple of years. Starting in 2012 The percentage of students expressing confidence that “I’ll find a job aligned with my values, interests and passions” has decreased from 91 percent to 83 percent in 2014.
Some students appear to be giving up on their preferred occupation. Finding an impact job is less of a top priority in 2014 than it was in 2013. In the last year the priority of finding such an impact job diminished 9 percent.
Failure to find work related to what students want to do may end up devaluing sustainability degrees. Perhaps these results are due to the growing number of students who are pursuing sustainability at the graduate level. If this holds true, it may just be a matter of time before industry catches up to the growing numbers of people who graduate with environmental degrees.
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