I for one feel that you should cotinue in the Bio tech field as it holds immence prospects what with the growing concern for environment. I reproduce below the prospects of environmental studies for which you aleady have more than adequate qualification.The prospectus contains information about future prospects for this line or learning.MSc IT would mean you would have start learning things ab initio and the years spent so far Study In India -
Prajna Rao explores the green pastures of a career in ecology
If you are passionate about the environment and have serious concerns about the rising population, endangered species, etc, a career in ecology beckons you. If you think you want to contribute towards protecting the environment, read on…
What is ecology?
Ecology is the methodical study of living organisms and the way they are affected by the interaction with the environment. It is the scientific study of how this distribution and abundance can affect these organisms. Hement Karkhanis, a senior executive at Godrej Mangroves, explains it as“It is the study of different aspects of the environment which are interrelated to each other in a biotic as well as abiotic field.”
An ecologist’s job profile can be broadly categorised into the following:
Research:“Research would include any environmental issue such as the spread of influenza through migratory birds, analysing the reasons behind the decline of vultures or the relationship between wild animals and natural habitats,” says Prashant Mahajan, Assistant Director, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) in the field of Important Bird Area and Education Programme.
Conservation: Here ecologists work towards the conservation and protection of mangroves, endangered species, wildlife etc.
Education and awareness: Ecologists can dedicate their life towards spreading awareness about the environment and the harmful actions of mankind. They can educate the masses and work with students and adults. They can conduct activities such as nature trails that help them to demonstrate the importance of the environment in an interesting fashion.
Decision and policy makers: Since ecologists are well versed with nature and the dynamics of the eco-system, they can make policies that safeguard and protect the environment and the species living in it.
Based on the area of expertise and interest, ecologists can choose to work in the corporate sector, NGOs or the government sector, where they can work in the Indian Forest Service (IFS).
The basic requirement is a BSc in any branch of biology. Says Dr Karkhanis,“One can complete their graduation in any branch of biology be it zoology, botany, life science, microbiology, horticulture followed by a MSc.” Higher the educational qualification, better the standing an ecologist has.
Goldin Quadros, an Education and State Officer at WWF Maharashtra, says,“Since ecology is an unconventional career option, it is a must that the person should have a keen interest and passion towards the environment. Apart fromthat, one also needs to have an in-depth understanding of the nature to work as an ecologist.”
A person with the required educational qualifications is well equipped to do the job as the studies are directly related to this field; the job being an extension of what is learnt. Doing a Phd also gives a hands-on experience in the field. Besides this, if required, the work place provides special training to the candidate based on their needs.
Be a volunteer
Even those who do not have the necessary qualifications can contribute towards the environment by volunteering for NGOs or in the corporate sector. According to Mahajan,“Though people without the necessary degree do not get the kind of job an ecologist would, there are still certain opportunities for them in this sector.” Moreover, there are certain organisations such as BNHS that provide the basic training to those without a science background.
In today’s day and age where nature and natural habitats are dwindling away, there is a call for ecologists.“As the future of the environment is very bleak, there is a need for people who can balance between development and ecology, and thus achieve sustainable development. Sustainable development ensures that the needs of the present generation can be catered to while making sure that the future generation will have an access to natural resources,” adds Mahajan.
The pay scale differs according to one’s educational qualifications, work experience and the institution. A fresher with a BSc degree can start with a monthly salary of approximately Rs 5000 to Rs 8000, whereas an MSc or Phd would fetch around Rs 25,000 to 30,000.
Institutes that provide the course
Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Science, Sikkim
Indian Institute of Science, Banglore
Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), Ahmebadad
Any college or university that offers a graduation and post graduation in the branches of Biology
Answered By: Prabhakar G - 10/16/2007