We’ve nurtured 100s of budding conservationists and wildlife researchers around the world. Using our years of experience, we’ve put together resources including guide and webinars to help you turn your passion for wildlife into a career.
These questions were taken from our most recent webinar where we sat down with leading wildlife conservationists to take questions from the public and discuss the different routes into a career in wildlife conservation and the jobs available in the sector
Question: What skills are most useful in a career in wildlife conservation?
There are several skills that will help you to excel in a career in wildlife conservation. Some of the most core skills you may need are:
Question: Do I need a PhD to work in conservation?
A PhD makes you a world class expert in one particular area, quite frequently a narrow one. Doing a PhD and the academic level required isn’t for everyone, we’ve worked with plenty of people in wildlife conservation over the years who came into it via another route. For example. perhaps they were interested in birds and decided to learn to ring, or they were good at stats and started helping out scientists. There are lots of opportunities available for people without PhD’s
Question: Will my choice of science degree limit me in my careers opportunities?
Not at all! There’s a large amount of overlap in your core skills form any science background. Data analysis, general biological knowledge, GIS, and so on. There is room to move and pursue new fields if you wanted to move. Our head of terrestrial research, Dr Kathy Slater, works primarily with monkeys but also moonlights with turtles!
Question: If I didn’t do a science degree can I still work in wildlife conservation?
Yes! The environmental field needs people from all backgrounds and areas of expertise. It’s not just for those interested in science, but needs lawyers, artists, film makers, you know it – the environmental field needs it.
For example, someone with a background in law would readily find work in wildlife conservation. Every conservation initiative will have legal ramifications, and environmental law is becoming a huge field. One aspect that we expect that to get bigger and bigger is the focus on carbon neutrality, and companies being held to account for their actions.
Another example is that someone with a landscape architecture background would have the skills needed for jobs in rewilding and habitat restoration.
Question: Would an expedition help my career chances?
This depends on the career you are thinking of specifically, but if it’s a career that will involve fieldwork, it will be very difficult to get into that career without some sort of field experience – although that could take many forms
What skills/qualifications are needed to enter the practical conservation field?
Field identification skills which you can gain by getting outdoors and practicing, and experience of practical methods that you can gain from volunteering with local groups. Public speaking and being able to communicate well are important too! Spend time researching and talking about your passions, and join a volunteer group/doing training to get experience of practical skills.