We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Do you derive your internal energy from spending time outdoors? Maybe you love to hike trails, find peace by the water, or enjoy learning about the environment in your free time. Whatever nature means to you, as a college student, you have an opportunity to turn your interests into a dream job. You can spend the majority of your time outdoors or exploring natural processes — and get paid to do so!
Take a look at these college majors for nature lovers.
If fossils and relics fascinate you, consider an archaeology major. Several of today’s archaeologists work for cultural resource management companies. You’ll travel to global dig sites and complete fieldwork projects. These pieces of history allow us to make connections between the past and present. Of course, you’re able to spend most of your workday out and about in nature.
For the most part, you’ll study anthropology, languages and history. Students also explore scientific methods and procedures that experts use for laboratory analysis. It’s necessary to note that most archaeologists pursue additional degrees. You may have to attend graduate school, as a grad degree can give you a higher chance of landing a job at a museum, firm or agency.
2. Environmental Science
This major tends to be an umbrella term for environmental research-based scientists. Job positions may include hydrologist, analyst, surveyor or horticulturist. Whatever track you choose, you’ll work outdoors to collect data through air, soil and water samples. As an environmental scientist, you’ll work to reduce the effects of climate change and support initiatives for a greener planet.
If you pursue an environmental science major, you’ll take classes like chemistry, biology and geology. Throughout higher-level courses, you may analyze and theorize about the world’s current environmental issues. An advanced degree may be necessary for specific roles.
3. Outdoor Recreation
Here’s a fantastic college major for an outdoor career. An outdoor or environmental recreation degree can lead to a position as a park ranger or forester. You could also find roles at various conservatories and camps. In any case, you’ll be able to help keep our country beautiful and educate others about nature-related topics. After all, everyone can learn so much through nature and the outdoors.
Typically, students that pursue related majors take courses to increase leadership, management and educational skills. You’ll learn about different concepts and ideas, all of which allow you to become a better employee of the wilderness. Most programs also offer minors and certificates to supplement your major. This way, you can round out your class load.
4. Wildlife Biology
As a wildlife biologist, you’d study the ins and outs of animals — from their health to ancestry. Mostly, wildlife biologists work for conservation groups, wildlife agencies or government organizations. You’ll operate outside through different ecosystems to collect vital data. Afterward, you might expect to head to a lab to conduct meaningful research.
Many wildlife biology courses separate into two routes — land or aquatic animals. You’re able to choose whichever you prefer. Aside from those subjects, you can take classes related to chemistry, mathematics and physics. Your specific college may offer a few management lessons, too. Like archaeology, many professionals head to graduate school. Wildlife biology tends to be one of the best college majors for outdoor careers.
5. Landscape Architecture
If you like to design plans, think about a landscape architecture degree. Unlike traditional architects, landscape architects create spaces that revolve around nature — like parks and conservatories. Today, several eco-friendly buildings feature green roofs, which landscape architects design, too. You’ll spend a decent amount of time indoors while you plan, but a lot of landscape architects oversee their outdoor projects as well.
Most schools offer five-year programs. You’ll take classes that encompass geometry, physics, art and more. A lot of students spend time at their college’s dedicated workspaces to practice drawing and drafting. Many firms require a master’s degree, so be sure to keep that factor in mind.
Follow Your Heart With These College Majors for Nature Lovers
Whatever aspect of nature sparks your interest — and your passion — there’s a major to turn your outdoor dream into a dream career. Start planning the natural trail to your future today.