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Conservation isn't just hip-waders and field work. It can be business suits, marketing, and spreadsheets as well. Our Center for Environmental Leadership in Business works with corporations on greening their practices and advising business partnerships. Studying sustainable business practices or starting a green business can be as important as research and activism.
Field: Entrepreneurism and Business Management
One idea + passion for the environment + ambition = success and profit. That's the formula conservation entrepreneurs live by. Entrepreneurs are seasoned business professionals, inventors, or just average people who identify a need and develop a product that offers a solution. The demand for "green," or environmentally safe, products is high, and opportunities for new products are unlimited. As an entrepreneur, you could develop an idea for a new consumer product that you create and sell. You also may have an idea for a machine or a device that can help manufacturers create environmentally sound products. In both scenarios, you need to research and determine a need, write a business plan, find funding, and aggressively market your idea. Entrepreneurism can be a risky career, but if successful, can be extremely rewarding – both financially and environmentally.
- Educational Requirements: bachelor's degree in business management or marketing, though entrepreneurs evolve from many different backgrounds
- Necessary Skills: knowledge of environmental issues, environmental laws and consumer demands; creativity, business, sales, and writing skills; persistence and patience
Natural Resource Economist
Just as an economist predicts and makes recommendations about financial trends, a natural resource economist studies our vital resources to determine best practices for long-term use. Conservation economists are called upon to make educated recommendations to policy makers and to weigh both the financial and environmental implications of proposed allocations of land, water, air, and other natural resources. This job is spent indoors studying data, writing reports, and meeting with officials. Job openings in this career path are rare and highly competitive, but it is a unique, extremely valued position for those who persevere.
- Educational Requirements: master's degree in natural resource economics
- Necessary Skills: knowledge of natural resources, agriculture, economics, and finance; analysis and communications skills
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