Those who want a career in conservation will typically need to take conservation courses, whether they are part of a degree program or simply for career enrichment. To choose the best conservation courses, it is necessary to consider what type of career you are pursuing, and what would be most valuable for your transcript or resume. Conservation is a very broad heading that encompasses a wide range of studies and courses, so it will be necessary to narrow it down. First, begin by determining whether you want to do more hands-on work, in the outdoors, or are you more interested in the legal and policy side of things.
People who are interested in working outdoors, either with plants or wildlife, will want to take conservation courses focused in things like biology, ecology, and natural resource management. The specific courses again will determine on the specific area of interest. Those who want to work in forestry, for example, may take a variety of courses in forest science and natural resource management, while those interested in wildlife conservation may focus on wildlife biology, as well as ecology and ecosystem studies. Even within these headings there are ways to specialize in certain areas.
For instance, some might choose to specialize in marine wildlife, and take courses related to this. Most people in who work in conservation have very specialized careers, particularly those who have advanced degrees in the sciences. Studying topics, and focusing a career, on specific interests such as soils, mosses, or different types of fungi are not unheard of. There are a number of highly specific conservation courses available for students interested in these topics.
Of course, there are other conservation courses available for people interested in taking their career in a different direction, such as environmental law and policy, or land conservation. Those interested in law and policy might choose to attend a law school and study the methods by which laws are developed, and the way in which litigation in environmental laws take place, or how administrative laws function. These courses are necessary for people who want to work as lawyers, or even just those who want to better understand environmental law for their jobs.
Land conservation is another important area of conservation work for which specific conservation courses may be required. Courses in law and policy are certainly helpful, as well as courses that deal specifically with the various aspects of writing conservation easements. Geographic information systems (GIS) skills are also extremely important for individuals interested in land conservation, and are generally necessary courses to take.