The Student Room Group

Environmental Science Degree

Hey guys I know this sounds silly but was wondering if you guys could give me advice on my situation. I have been offered a place at QMUL for an environmental science degree with business. I have a passion for geography and sustainability and am supported by my parents to go into this, but recently have been told by peers and friends that theres not a lot of money to be made in the field. I am quite good at maths and economics as I take them for A- level and was thinking about trying for banking internships at uni to progress to that. What do you guys think, I know it sounds bad but I'd like to prioritise a higher salary. What do you think? Do you know of any higher paying jobs with environmental stuff or do you recommend me trying to go into banking?
Original post by symboris
Hey guys I know this sounds silly but was wondering if you guys could give me advice on my situation. I have been offered a place at QMUL for an environmental science degree with business. I have a passion for geography and sustainability and am supported by my parents to go into this, but recently have been told by peers and friends that theres not a lot of money to be made in the field. I am quite good at maths and economics as I take them for A- level and was thinking about trying for banking internships at uni to progress to that. What do you guys think, I know it sounds bad but I'd like to prioritise a higher salary. What do you think? Do you know of any higher paying jobs with environmental stuff or do you recommend me trying to go into banking?

It's certainly not "bad" to pursue a higher salary. I don't know why some people say it is... it's actually quite a juvenile to say because in the adult world many people are trying to maximise or at least increase their earnings. Lots of people study something they are passionate about and end up regretting it because it turns out to be not very financially rewarding.
Reply 2
Original post by Smack
It's certainly not "bad" to pursue a higher salary. I don't know why some people say it is... it's actually quite a juvenile to say because in the adult world many people are trying to maximise or at least increase their earnings. Lots of people study something they are passionate about and end up regretting it because it turns out to be not very financially rewarding.

Yeah I know , I would feel kind of like a sell out but if I'm going to work hard i'd rather make money doing it. :frown:
You don't necessarily need to decide between the two yet, as the degree is suitable for either route and banking internships are still useful work experience.

I'd also note that while investment bankers earn a lot, they also work far more hours in often rather poor working environments - 80-100 hour weeks are pretty typical, and you aren't getting paid overtime for that; just your standard salary. I recall reading a blog entry from an analyst some years back who worked out his hourly rate was roughly the same as someone working at McDonalds, once he accounted for all the hours he spent working till 10-12pm and starting at 6-7am.

You may also find that your expectations change over time and you may find you can live happily on a "lower" salary (relative to investment banking salaries) with improved quality of life and/or job satisfaction in another role. So just go into things with an open mind and see where you end up going :smile:
Reply 4
Thanks for the input :smile:
I absolutely get where you're coming from, I didn't know if my degree would be as competitive as other Economics or Business students, so I'll be sure to at least try for the internships. I'm not intent on purely IB but I do know people spring off into M&A or private equity which has a better work-life balance after a few years. Its simply a case of, if i'm going to struggle- I'd rather struggle and earn a better salary :frown:

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