MissClick
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Hi all,

I have a couple of questions about environmental careers, and I was wondering if anyone could help!

I'm currently completing an MA at Newcastle University in Modern and Contemporary Studies (on a distinction) and I have a first in English Literature from Northumbria.

The funny thing about my now deciding to have a career change is that I was always I think 'naturally' better at science and maths. I actually originally applied for and got accepted onto a biology course at Newcastle University (my A levels were in biology, chemistry, english Lit; and I have AS level maths and science for public understanding). I just made a bit of a random last minute decision to do english lit and creative writing at uni because I thought I might make a decent writer or academic...

Anyway, now I'm faced with the prospect of going into a PhD in humanities and, well, I don't think I need to tell you all my concerns.

I've always maintained an interest in science and I have always kind of regretted my decision of course/uni- that's not to say that I don't really love it, I do! And I'm pretty good at it, actually. I just think I might be better suited and have more prospects in a scientific job.

Because I've already had my tuition fee and maintenance loan, it's pretty much impossible for me to go back to a regular uni and pay £9000 a year. However, I was looking on the Open University's website and I saw that their degrees are only £5000 a year- something that I think I could manage using their monthly payment plan thing.

So now I'm thinking that I might finish my MA in September and start an Open University degree in either Natural Science (Environmental Science pathway) or Environmental Management and Technology.

I'm 23 now and will be 24 when I start the course, meaning I will be 27 when I finish. I've been looking into jobs and I would like to do something along the lines of environmental consultancy, so I think I might do an MSc at Newcastle in Ecological Consultancy when I finish the course. This would mean I would be 28 when starting to apply for jobs.

My questions are:
1. Do you think that 28 is too old to get into this kind of career?
2. How are Open University degrees looked upon in this line of work?
3. Would the degree in natural sciences (environmental pathway) or the one in environmental management and technology stand me in better stead in this line of work?
4. If I did start this course in September, I'd like to start getting different forms of work experience from my first year, so that I'd have a work experience record going back 3/4 years when i start applying for jobs. Do you think this might 'balance' the fact that I would be a little older than other applicants?

I'd greatly appreciate any help the forum members could offer!

Sorry for the rant!!



edit: *only* £5000 a year pfft!!
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Craigy266
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Hey,

I'm not really an expert on this field, I did an Architectural Engineering Degree. However, some of the things I did in my degree (and fancy a career in) I'm not exactly accredited for - so I'm having a bit of a troublesome time trying to figure out what to do and what steps to take!

1. It's up to you really what you think is too old! If you start studying, will you have enough money to support yourself/live on your own (if you want)? There may be a number of setbacks with you choosing to do extra studying at such an age - but are you happy with that? And what else do you want out of your life besides a career in this? - Could you achieve these things?

2. I was thinking - you have relevant A Levels...perhaps with a little research you might be able to find out some things. Could you take a Masters Degree in something to do with Environmental Management etc? You have a bachelors, and although it's not relevant, I know some masters don't really need you to have certain pre-requisites. And then with this degree, take stepping stones from there...

Could you use your degree in the environmental industry somehow? and then try and make stepping stones to the more scientific/technical side?

Just thought i'd share a few ideas! Good Luck
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MissClick
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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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(Original post by Craigy266)
Hey,

I'm not really an expert on this field, I did an Architectural Engineering Degree. However, some of the things I did in my degree (and fancy a career in) I'm not exactly accredited for - so I'm having a bit of a troublesome time trying to figure out what to do and what steps to take!

1. It's up to you really what you think is too old! If you start studying, will you have enough money to support yourself/live on your own (if you want)? There may be a number of setbacks with you choosing to do extra studying at such an age - but are you happy with that? And what else do you want out of your life besides a career in this? - Could you achieve these things?

2. I was thinking - you have relevant A Levels...perhaps with a little research you might be able to find out some things. Could you take a Masters Degree in something to do with Environmental Management etc? You have a bachelors, and although it's not relevant, I know some masters don't really need you to have certain pre-requisites. And then with this degree, take stepping stones from there...

Could you use your degree in the environmental industry somehow? and then try and make stepping stones to the more scientific/technical side?

Just thought i'd share a few ideas! Good Luck
Hi, and thanks for your reply and advice.

Although I am looking to have a change to improve my career prospects, I also really would like to try something new while I'm still (relatively) young.

What I mean is, I don't mind being really skint for 3 or 4 years because learning is what I really love to do; and there's a little part of me that really wants to complete a science degree. I think even if I had a high paid great job now, I would definitely pursue an open university degree in a science subject just for pleasure. ( I get all happy and giddy when I start looking at course books ).

I will definitely have a look at some postgraduate courses that don't require a science degree, though! It wasn't something that I had considered because I thought there would be technical requirements, but now that you've mentioned it, I remember seeing one at Durham that didn't specify a degree area!! Then I could, like you say, try to get my way in someway and try to build on the technical side of things, and maybe do an OU course in my spare time.

Anyway, thanks for the advice, and good luck with what you want to do!
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