A career in Ocean Conservation requires more than just a PhD. In fact, sometimes you don’t need a PhD at all as you do not need to be a scientist for a career in Ocean Conservation. Each Ocean Conservation career type requires its own set of specialized skills. For instance, a scientist will know statistics, a planner will know Geographic Information Systems, and a marketer will know how to get reach the appropriate audience. However, there is a certain set of skills that will help you in Ocean Conservation, no matter which career type you choose.
These skills are for everyone and are usually acquired on the job with experience in working on various projects. More importantly, these skills are often added as a desired requirement on job advertisements, which will set make the candidate who possesses one of these skills a better choice the the candidates without the skill set.
Here are the top 3 skills that will benefit you in attaining your Ocean Career:
1) Fundaraising – As I mentioned in a past article, fundraising is the corner stone of Ocean Conservation. Ideally, each organization will have a fundraising team dedicated to spend all of their time seeking donations from their supporters and writing grants for specific projects; however, many organizations are not so fortunate. Small to medium sized organizations may not have the resources to hire a team of fundraisers, or even 1 fundraiser. So the other staff and board members are forced to spend their time raising funds. Having grant writing/donation seeking experience and skills is crucial when you work for an Ocean Conservation organization as the funds you seek may be paying your salary.
2) Project Management – The ability to manage project time, deadlines, and efficiency are extremely important in any career, so having this skill will benefit all Ocean Conservationists. Project Management is not taught in many programs that deal with Ocean Conservation. There are courses that lead to a Project Management certification that is highly regarded. Having a PMP designation will prove to potential employers that you are able to handle more than one project, you are organized, and you conduct your projects in a systematic manner.
3) Knowledge of Current Ocean Issue – I constantly see job advertisements for non-profit organizations asking for people to have knowledge of issues in Ocean Conservation. So how do you get that knowledge…well, I want to say that you can go to Speak Up For Blue and get all of your knowledge from there, but there are many more sites that you can visit to gain knowledge on various issues. Just Google Ocean Conservation or Marine Conservation and you will find a plethora of information on specific issues. Speak Up for Blue can provide you with Ocean Awareness issues in more of a general sense.
These skills will impress managers reviewing your resume and get you that first interview where you can impress them even more.
Each of these skills are easily attainable; especially as you are searching for a job. Taking a course in Project Management shows the managers that you are motivated to improving your skills to benefit yourself and your future employer. So there should be no reason why you are not trying to attain these skills.