The Student Room Group

Good Grades And Experience Are Worthless (Nature Jobs, Science, Humanities)

At the age of 21, I started studying for a two-year Level 3 Extended Diploma in Countryside Management, for which I achieved the highest grade. After, I completed a BSc (Hons) in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a first. I then struggled to get work in ecological consultancy during the pandemic. I've held only two jobs in ecology, both of which were short and not ideal, not least because they were low pay and zero hour. I didn't want to go for ranger work because, although I have a lot of practical experience, it just wasn't for me, and I wanted to put my more scientific and technical skills to use. For a while I tried to continue with ecological consultancy, but I was discontented with the field for many reasons, even at the start of my career. After a long period of job searching, I managed to land a short editing job for MDPI science journals in an effort to move further into writing since I've always been a writer. I then made the decision to write a long thesis for an MA Res English Literature, which received a Distinction and an award. In all, I have experience that ranges from practical countryside management to scientific report writing and data analysis to extensive humanities research undertaken independently. My reward for all of my effort is that I'm now on benefits at thirty years old. I'm desperately applying for jobs related to editing and communication in the environmental sector and being rejected by every one of them.


Ecological consultancy: I don't wish to work in this field anymore and I no longer have the technical skills and knowledge to perform well as I've moved in a different direction. No one would pick me over someone with an MSc in ecology anyway.

Rangering: I have practical experience, but I don't want to do manual labour and haven't done it for a long time. I wouldn't be able to get a ranger job now, especially not with my current skillset and goals.

Editing/communication/research: Apparently, two degrees, published writing and professional editing experience, and social media engagement all mean nothing. The issue here as well is that most jobs in this field are bent toward marketing and SEO. I don’t have experience or even an interest in any of this. All I know is that I want to edit/research for some kind of nature-based NGO but also avoid the overt focus on social media, advertising, marketing, etc. Now that I think about it, why would anyone pick me over someone with a Masters in marketing or journalism?


Most environmental jobs are oriented towards science and therefore will revolve around habitats/species surveying, data analysis, GIS, require CIEEM membership, etc. I’ve moved away from all of this and, honestly, barely started with it in the first place despite my five years studying ecology. I don’t have an education background, so I can’t get a job focused on nature engagement with young people. Any writing job, say working in policy, is also going to focus on science and feature approaches I don’t even agree with, e.g. ‘nature-based solutions’ and ‘ecosystem services’. I don’t know what to do. I’m completely at a loss. In fact, I feel useless and have ended up in the cliché position of a humanities student with no skills. Well, I have skills and knowledge in relation to ecology, but, again, no one would pick me over someone with higher qualifications and/or has more job experience in the area. However, shouldn't I be able to get a damn job with my amount of qualifications and experiences? Apparently not. I’m just endlessly scrolling through job websites and my eyes are glazing over because I keep landing on roles like ‘shop assistant’ and ‘data entry clerk’. It’s as if I’m a young teenager again and have made no progress.

I'm probably going to have to do a PhD studentship to get at least some kind of wage and to feel a sense of progress despite the fact that I decided against it after many people said it wasn't a good idea.
(edited 1 month ago)

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