Career Resources

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Finding a job is up to you, but resources are available in many different places to help you prepare for your job search. You need to think about assessing your skills, writing a resume, networking with professionals in your field of interest, conducting informational interviews and developing your interview skills. Resources are available on-campus in various career resource centers as well as via the Internet in career centers at other universities. Once you are prepared to launch your job search, there are many avenues to find open positions.

Take Advantage of Department Resources

  • Read the NRES Career Information Blog
    Beginning in your first semester, skim the NRES Career Information Blog frequently. Look for articles that provide career exploration resources or advice about how to prepare for job searching and a career. Skim the job openings (just click on the "Jobs" category in the right column) and click on the links to jobs that sound interesting. This is how you become familiar with the kinds of skills and experiences you will need to gain to be well prepared by the time you are searching for a job. A reminder to check the blog is sent to  all undergraduate and graduate NRES majors every few weeks, but you should subscribe to the blog when you are actively seeking a position. This blog is public, and anyone can subscribe to the blog by clicking here. For those of you who are familiar with the NRES Career Bulletin, we have replaced it with this blog so that those who need more frequent updates can get them.
  • Access and Learn to Use Handshake @ Illinois
    The official campus source for notifying students of jobs, information sessions, interview appointments, etc. is I-Link Illinois. This service can alert you as jobs and internships in your field are added.
  • Take NRES 108: Environmental Science and Natural Resource Careers
    We recommend taking  NRES 108 in the second semester of your freshman year, or as soon as you can fit it into your schedule. NRES students who have taken this class as seniors always talk about how helpful it was and how much they wish they had taken it earlier. While it doesn't count toward graduate degrees, graduate students are welcome in the course, as well.
  • Join the NRES @ Illinois group on LinkedIn
    Many NRES alumni are members, so take advantage of their expertise. Post questions about a career path that you are considering, for example.
  • Follow IllinoisNRES on Twitter

Professional Organizations

Consider Certification 

Many careers in NRES-related fields have certification programs that enhance your credentials and impress employers. Many require a certain amount of post-education experience and continuing professional development. While you will not be able to attain many of these certifications with just your NRES coursework, you can choose coursework during your degree program that will provide you with the background you need to pursue certification after you have gained the necessary experience. You can find certification requirements for many professions linked below:

University of Illinois Campus Resources

  • ACES Student Development and Career Services Office offers job search skills development as well as access to on-campus internship and full-time job interviews with companies recruiting on-campus. They also offer assistance with applying to graduate programs.
  • The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology Career Services in the School of Life Sciences assists undergraduate students in the biological sciences with career planning and placement. 
  • The Career Center offers a full range of programs, services, resources and counseling to assist all students and alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, regardless of academic affiliation. The Career Center acts as a campus clearing house for students and employers. The Center offers pre-professional advising for students interested in going on to graduate or professional school and/or preparing for careers in the health professions. Accordingly, they sponsor school fairs for students to interact with school representatives. Additionally, The Career Center sponsors the Non-Profit Career Fair and assists students in attending Chicago-based career fairs. 
  • Illinois Career Services Network web page is designed to help students and employers navigate all of the campus career services offices. The offices have a variety of programs, resources, and events that can accommodate their employment, career development, and recruiting needs. This network is comprised of all the career centers on campus and is a clearinghouse for all of the resources and websites.

Other Resources

  • The Chicago Environmental Network is a great source for NRES-related jobs and internships in the Chicago area.
  • The Conservation Job Board features 12-15 new conservation positions in the U.S. every work day.
  • The Job Seeker is an excellent source of both permanent and summer positions in all fields related to environmental sciences and natural resources.  NRES has a subscription to this bi-weekly publication, and the most recent version is always posted on the career bulletin board in the west hallway of the fifth floor of Turner Hall. The Job Seeker is free for employers, so the listings include a huge number of positions in every issue.
  • The Ecological Society of America offers a list serve and list of employment opportunities for a variety of fields, including: agronomy, aquatic ecology, biology, botany, climatology, ecosystem studies, entomology, environmental resource management, fisheries biology, forest ecology, geography, geology, oceanography, population biology, soil science, wildlife biology, zoology, and more.
  • Environmental Career Opportunities provides a listing of environmental job vacancies are from all sectors of the job-market including non-profits, corporations, professional firms, institutions, and Federal, state and local governments. You can search by state or for international positions. You can sign up for their bi-weekly newsletter and receive job opportunities by email.
  • Environmental Careers Organization
  • North American Association for Environmental Education Job Board
  • Environmental Jobs is a specialist website that focuses on environmental career in the United Kingdom and globally.
  • FindaForestryJob.com is designed to connect employers with people looking for jobs in the forestry industry around the world.
  • Great Green Careers
  • Environmental Career Center
  • GreenBiz job board contains positions relation to corporate sustainability.
  • Idealist.org is a great place to find positions in government and non-governmental organizations, both in the U.S. and internationally.
  • Illinois Parks and Recreation Association
  • Park Ranger EDU is a helpful resource providing extensive information about the career paths available in state and national parks.
  • Texas A&M University's Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences job board
  • United States Department of Agriculture's Living Science: Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Careers provides profiles of a wide range of NRES-related careers.