Starting A Degree

My books for my first degree module have arrived today!

I'll be studying for a BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, with the Open University. It's all part of my recent decision to change career. The degree covers a wide range of subjects, from biology to social science. This is the description from the OU website:

"Our environment is under threat from climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and resource depletion. This course combines aspects of biology, ecology, geography, chemistry, technology and social science to help you understand the whole picture. You’ll develop the scientific knowledge and techniques needed to understand environmental patterns and processes, investigate ecosystems, and to address local and global environmental issues. You’ll also investigate how environmental science relates to society."

This module, U116 - Environment: journeys through a changing world, covers lots of topics from an overview of the environment and the challenges we face, right through to sustainability in cities. In the process, I'll cover locations including the Arctic, the Amazon rainforests, and visiting (virtually, sadly) rapidly developing industrial China.

The degree itself will take six years to complete, as I am studying part-time. It does mean that I'll be a little older than most when I take up my first full-time job in the environmental sector, but that just means I come with years of real-life experience. Something which, I'm told, younger graduates simply do not have but is an important aspect in an interview.

I've found that for any meaningful and worthwhile career in this sector, you have to have a degree. Not just any degree at that - it has to be relevant to the sector. Most job adverts you see posted these days seem to ask for a degree, but it can be any. For me, that always seems a little ridiculous. For example, you can get a job running a branch of a large chain of supermarkets with a history degree, even though you have no business experience whatsoever. The actual degree itself isn't relevant, so what is the point of doing the degree in the first place?

It's been some time since I've been in any sort of formal education, so I'm expecting this to be challenging. I'm certainly intelligent enough to be successful, but I'm expecting it to be a little difficult to get back into the learning mindset. I'll be posting (ir)regularly on here to update you all with my progress. This should be fun!

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