Your future career in environmental sustainability awaits!

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020

Blog Post

Careers in sustainability

Careers in Environmental Sustainability are increasingly in demand with the various environmental challenges our society faces. Our interdisciplinary Master’s program is designed to fill the growing need for sustainability professionals who can influence decision-making through deep understanding of the environmental challenges and the interconnected processes through which they persist. Our program’s focus on interdisciplinary problem-solving prepares students for careers in many different areas and disciplines.  

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of careers in environmental sustainability that you could enter as a MES graduate student:

  • POLICY ADVISOR to a minister
  • SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER for an industry association
  • SENIOR POLICY ANALYST for government
  • LEADER of a sustainable community initiative
  • RESEARCHER for a sustainability think tank
  • ENTERPRENEUR for an environmentally progressive company
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of a non-governmental organization
  • OFFICER in energy efficiency

Getting Hired after Grad School – Where some of our students are working now!

“I am currently working at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada as a Policy Analyst in the Policy and Strategic Direction branch of the Reconciliation Secretariat.  My position largely entails co-developing and aligning policy priorities between the Assembly of First Nations and the Government of Canada, including climate change and sustainable development goals.

In conjunction with the University of Ottawa CO-OP option, I felt more than adequately prepared to navigate through, and transition from, academia to a professional career in environment, climate change and sustainable development associated fields.  The CO-OP option presented me with the opportunity to advance my professional development goals much more effectively than what I would likely been able to achieve if I had not taken advantage of those services. I could not have asked for a better outcome for my academic and professional career, and I believe you can achieve the same successes with the support of this Institute’s professional faculty and the course options they offer through the MES program.”

Alex Laxton
Master’s of Environmental Sustainability Alumnus
Junior Social Policy Adviser
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affair's Reconciliation Secretariat

“The MES program was such an enriching experience in so many ways. As someone with a passion for the environment but no specific background in it, this program was exceptionally helpful as it approached environmental sustainability from various perspectives like environmental law, policy, science, economics, etc. I particularly appreciated that the program welcomed students from all backgrounds because having such a wide scope of experience meant we all had various strengths. It was also very helpful that they integrated a work experience into the program and encouraged CO-OP opportunities to help students make connections and find work after graduation.

The academic and professional skills and experience that were cultivated in the program helped me find employment in the environmental field. I now work at Life Without Plastic raising awareness about the harms of plastic pollution on human and environmental health while offering solutions through our online shop. For anyone considering a Master's in this field, this Masters of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Ottawa is an incredible and well rounded program that truly sets you up for success in the field.”

Sarah Wylie
Master’s in Environmental Sustainability Alumna
Operations and Inventory Manager
Life Without Plastics

“Other than developing a strong network with your fellow students, the program is also helpful in getting your foot in the door with your first post-graduation employer. I took advantage of the CO-OP option and worked for two semesters at two very different organizations. This allowed me to test the waters and decide for myself which organization fit best with my interests. CO-OP employers are also often looking for potential full-time employees and may offer you the opportunity to stay with them once you have graduated.

After graduating, I stayed with my CO-OP employer and I continue to work at the International Joint Commission (IJC) as a policy analyst. The IJC is a binational (US-Canada) organization that prevents and resolves disputes on boundary freshwaters between the two countries. I also volunteer with the Canadian Water Network Student and Young Professional Committee. I love the work that I do, and feel that I owe it to the program for getting me where I am today.”

Christina Chiasson
Master’s in Environmental Sustainability Alumna
Junior Policy & Communications Analyst
International Joint Commission

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