Despite the fact that the environmental discourse has been around for a long time, the disciplines related to it have only recently gained traction. Environmental engineering is an example of an offshoot from environmental studies. The urgency to address climate change and environmental degradation is driving universities around the world to offer courses in the subject. But what exactly is environmental engineering?
It is not possible to answer the above question with a simple definition. It is likely that you have a vague idea of what it is, as the term environmental engineering is self-explanatory. However, this is not enough to decide if you should pursue it as an academic course or as a professional endeavor.
Here are some facts about environmental engineering that you should know.
- What is the point of it all?
Let’s start with what environmental engineering is. Environmental engineering refers to learning about the infrastructure and processes that are involved in a variety of areas related the environment and its evolution. Environmental engineering includes the development of pollution control systems, water supply, and the creation environment-friendly ecosystems via infrastructural interventions. This should have made it clear that environmental engineering is a combination of many disciplines like ecology, economics.
- It is a broad field that can lead to a multitude of professional roles.
In the previous point, I said that the discipline is a mixture of many other disciplines. You will be exposed to many different disciplines if you choose to study environmental engineering. This means that there are many jobs you can pursue after graduation. We’ll get to that later. However, you should know that the course allows you explore many interesting sub-disciplines. These sub-disciplines include waste disposal treatment, air pollution management, and environmental impact assessment. You will be able to obtain specialized education in these fields if you choose to do postgraduate or doctoral study.
- Very much in demand
It is clear that there is a lot in demand for environmental engineers. Despite the fact that COP26 ended with a weaker than expected Glasgow Pact, this has increased the volume of climate change discourse and strategies to combat it. These discourses have created a pool for environmental engineers whose expertise and knowledge has increased in relevance than ever before. Institutions and companies around the world are offering attractive salaries and many amenities to attract professionals due to the increase in demand. This is the perfect time for environmental engineers, to make the most out of their education and capabilities.
- There are many career options
The third point can be supplemented by the fact that you can assume many different professional roles as an engineer, although they may go under different names. Hydro-geologists, solid and waste management professionals as well civil engineers can all be environmental engineers. Experts are needed to contribute to policy-making in the environment and related areas. There is a huge demand for researchers and academicians who have extensive experience in this field.
- While environmental engineering is rewarding, it can also be tiring.
Understanding that environmental engineering does not follow a textbook format is essential. You will have to put the knowledge you have gained to work. As environmental science and technology continues to evolve, you will need to continue learning. Although your salary may be high, it will not come easily as environmental engineers are often involved in research and projects that can last for days before you have enough sleep. Simply put, environmental engineering is not something you should be taking lightly. No matter what degree program you choose, the coursework will show you that it is not an easy path but can be rewarding and exciting if your heart is set on it.
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The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of CEOWORLD magazine.
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