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Finding your way from school to a green future

If you’re at school and interested in a career related to sustainability, but you’re not sure how to get there, you’ll be pleased to hear there are lots of routes to the perfect green role. We know for sure because IEMA recently conducted a short survey on what people studied before taking up their green job.

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Featured events: The Sustainable Futures Showcaae

During National Careers Week (4-12th March), WWF are hosting five webinars covering sustainable careers in entertainment, fashion, sport, business & finance, and food & farming. These are aimed at 13-21 year olds.

Which subjects get the green light for green careers?

Professionals working in sustainability today have studied a very wide range of school subjects – almost any topic is green for go. Lots of sectors were represented in our IEMA survey of 62 people, and 28% had ‘sustainability’ in their job title. Here’s a snapshot of the huge range of subjects they studied.

At GCSE level, whilst Geography and Sciences are popular, both Foreign Languages and History also featured in the top subjects taken by respondents.

Not all Environmental / Sustainability Managers in our survey had studied Sciences or Geography at A level.

Other subjects included Sociology, Music, French, English, Philosophy, Maths, Computer Science, History, Latin and Politics.

Biology, Chemistry and Geography were popular A level subjects for those now working in consulting or advising roles.

Economics, General Studies and Maths were also common.

Get access to IEMA resources by studying an EPQ

IEMA have partnered with Pearson to provide free Access IEMA registration to all students studying a Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) focused on sustainability or climate change. 

Students are given access to specific IEMA resources to help learn more about climate change and the environment, and support their project work.

Are the subjects you choose important if you want a career in sustainability?

Lots of people move into sustainability roles at different stages in their career, often completely switching sectors. The advice we often hear from professionals is to follow your passion.

Read below to see some example subjects that professionals working in green jobs chose for their studies, and their advice for those at school right now.

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What do the professionals have to say?

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IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals