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Love the outdoors? Make nature your office with these careers

06/11/2020 |

Do you spend your weekends hiking, camping, snorkelling, volunteering with animals or even researching the best native plants to grow on your balcony?

If you’re born to be outdoors, why not turn your passion into a career?

By studying courses like Zoology, Botany, and Marine Biology, you’ll not only secure a job that you’ll thrive in, you’ll also be contributing to a better future, whether you’re increasing sustainability, helping solve soil erosion, supporting the diversity of marine life or tackling any number of other global issues.

And ending each day knowing you’ve left the world better a better place doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Here are some careers you might consider.

1. Marine scientist

lion fish next to person scuba diving

Fascinated by coastal ecosystems and the awesome life you spot through your goggles? Western Australia's marine environment is a biodiversity hotspot – with up to 80 per cent of its fish, invertebrates and other organisms found nowhere else in the world, WA is the ideal living laboratory for your studies.

Take a Bachelor of Science and major in Marine Biology or Marine and Coastal Processes, or the Marine Science double major.

Save time securing your career as a marine scientist, with the Marine Science combined Bachelor's and Master's, that lets you graduate with a postgraduate degree in only four years. Other postgrad options are the Master of Environmental Science (Marine and Coastal Specialisation) and the Master of Biological Science (Marine Biology Specialisation).

During the course of your studies you will gain practical experience through hands-on laboratory-based exercises, field trips (camping in Albany) and computer-based labs.

“We are incredibly privileged to be alive and to live on this planet – but we only inherit it, we never own it. I am well aware of this, and my work is about leaving the planet a better place than I found it, with a focus on saving our oceans. I choose to do this by nurturing and training the next generation of diverse ocean heroes, students from typically under-represented nations, and other unlikely heroes like fishermen.”

Dr Asha de Vos - Marine Biologist.


2. Geoscientist, geologist

Geoscience students in the field

If the earth rocks your world, learn how it was formed and continues to change through a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geology. The more science-minded can take the Geochemistry double major, or have a research-led experience in studying the Earth with the Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences double major – you’ll study everything from the planet’s early history to its foreseeable future, from the ocean floors to its highest mountains.

Take the fast-track route through postgrad with the new Earth Sciences Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s. In just four years, you’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences) and a Master of Geoscience, and be well on your way to a career as a geoscientist.

Other postgrad options to secure a rockin’ career are:

Fieldwork skills are an integral part of studying the Earth Sciences. You’ll gain hands-on experience exploring the West Australian landscape, including overnight trips that let you put what you’ve learned in the lab to practical use.

3. Biologist, botanist, ecologist, zoologist, wildlife conservationist


These are the careers that let animal, plant and nature lovers get close to critters, get working in and with nature, and get to improving their beloved ecosystems.

The Bachelor of Science Botany major covers your interest in plants, while Zoology will teach you evolutionary processes and animal structures. Those with more of a conservation bent will be drawn towards the Conservation Biology major, the Wildlife Conservation double major, and even the new Biological Science Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which give you the chance to graduate with full postgraduate expertise and a strong CV.

The Master of Biological Science (Conservation Biology or Zoology specialisation) and Master of Biological Science (Ecology specialisation) could also be next in line after your bachelor’s degree, to specialise in your chosen field.

“The highlight of my degree was definitely the two field courses I took part in: one to Coral Bay and one to Albany. They gave me practical experience, which helped to set me up for future jobs and studies, and fostered my passion for fieldwork, Australian wildlife, and conservation biology. It was also valuable to see first-hand during the field course what conservation and management jobs entail, while simultaneously seeing the impact that their work can have during the theoretical work.”

Tash Harrison, BSc Zoology and Conservation Biology


4. Sports scientist


Greenery and wildlife not your bag? But you still spend your spare time outside being active? If you’re also interested in fitness, nutrition, and the science behind movement, sports science could be for you.

Major in Sport Science, Physiology, or Exercise and Health in the Bachelor of Science, or benefit from a combination of them by taking a second major. The double major in Sport Science, Exercise and Health is also an accredited course, which means you can become an Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES) on completion. With Australia’s ageing population and obesity rates rising around the world, contributing to the health and wellbeing of the community is a fulfilling and valuable way to spend your days.

Continue to a Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology to make a real difference to people’s lives. You’ll gain the extensive knowledge, skills and experience in clinical exercise delivery to be able to provide health modification counselling for people with chronic disease and injury.

Luke Major currently works as the Partnerships Manager for Proud 2 Play, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to increase LGBTQI+ engagement with sport, recreation and physical activity in Melbourne.

“I studied Physiology and was a massive lab geek in my first ‘proper’ job before I ended up in my current job. Basically overnight I went from looking down a microscope to a wildly different job that has seen me educate some of Australia’s biggest sports organisations on LGBTQI+ inclusion and managing part of Midsumma Carnival (a Victorian LGBTQI+ festival attended by 120,000 people).”

Luke Major - BSc '15, BSc(Hons)' 17

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