Preparing for a Career in Ecology or
Wildlife Conservation

Woodland stream

Simply having a degree on your CV enhances employment prospects in certain sectors and can sometimes ensure that you do not begin your career on the bottom rung. However, the Ecology and Wildlife Conservation degree programme is designed specifically to help you into either the ecology or wildlife conservation sectors. This programme will provide you with the knowledge skills that you require in employment but it is very difficult to adequately cover the specialist skills gaps within normal course modules. These skills include things like species identification, survey skills and so on, essentially skills that an employer might want you to be able to deploy when engaging with wildlife. The Centre for Wildlife Assessment and Conservation at Reading is a forum for students to engage with wildlife and wildlife conservation issues. One of our activities is to hold regular sessions on species identification and the submission of records to the national recording database. Employers absolutely demand that you engage with wildlife and evidence that you do this is required on your CV. You will be given the opportunity to join in with a university funded scheme to develop your skills, appreciate and engage with wildlife more and to develop your CV. We are fortunate to have a group of academics at Reading who are very keen on liaising with students to explore species identification, recording and distribution. One recent outcome of our recording work has been the discovery of a new species for Britain and Ireland. We have also just increased the campus species list to over 1000 with 122 of these being birds.

In addition, an employer will require you to behave in a professional manner. Pretty well all Universities now offer Professional Skills modules of some description but professionalism is not something that can be appreciated and developed during a module run once a week for ten weeks to deliver a mark at the end. It is an on-going commitment to understand how to communicate with people (both written and verbal), time keeping, appreciating other peoples' job commitments, appearance, how your requirements need to fit in around other peoples' issues and so it goes on. It will require collaboration between student and staff to work on these issues continually. At Reading we are committed to giving you the best chance of securing the type of employment that you most want. Throughout your time at Reading we will offer you the opportunity to have your CV reviewed. We will discuss with you where the gaps in your CV lie in view of your aspirations. We will send your CV to people employed outside the Universities to seek a non-academic opinion. The Ecology and Wildlife Conservation programme is vocational. The most important outcome to us is how prepared you are for employment after graduation.

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