Graduates of the MSc in Environmental Technology are ideally placed to gain employment in a wide range of organizations dealing with natural resources, conservation and international development.
Employment is diverse with consulting companies, government, and non-governmental organizations attracting similar shares of graduates.
"85% of Environmental Technology graduates gain employment within six months of completing the course."
Director of Careers and Departmental Careers Advisor is Dr Bill Sheate, who is Reader in Environmental Assessment (p/t), Director of the Core Course and Deputy Director of the MSc Course in the Centre for Environmental Policy. Bill is also Technical Director (p/t) at Collingwood Environmental Planning Ltd and over his career of more than 30 years has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors, as a practitioner and campaigner as well as an academic. He is therefore well placed to provide advice as to the nature and needs across the diverse potential career destinations for our graduates. An alumnus of the MSc himself (1983/84) and having worked at Imperial for over 20 years, Bill has a long-standing connection with the course and its students.
Current students and alumni can arrange as necessary individual appointments with Bill to discuss careers options. For those seeking a complete change of career the MSc is often the means of doing so. Nevertheless, applying for jobs in a new area can seem a bit daunting, but it is important to recognise the wealth of transferable skills that you will be able to bring from previous career experience, even if not obviously connected with the environment. A bit of reflection and focused discussion can help enormously in helping you make the most of all your skills and experience. Students can also draw inspiration from the experience of a wealth of varied alumni career paths.
Bill works closely with the College Careers Service and their Deputy Director, Jason Yarrow, is CEP’s main point of contact. Jason provides CV clinics in the Centre on a regular basis, by appointment, and he and other Careers Service consultants can provide further advice on job hunting, CVs, mock interviews etc through booking with the Careers Service through JobsLive. The Careers Service also provides a detailed Careers Handbook specifically for the MSc Environmental Technology students. CEP alumni have access to the College Careers Service for three years after graduating and CEP alumni are able to access the CEP jobs list and email network for a lifetime (!) through our fantastic international alumni network. Bill is happy to see past alumni if they need any careers advice later in life.
Bill and Jason provide careers seminars throughout the year for MSc and PhD students and organise specific careers events, including a session specifically for Career Changers, and a careers ‘speed-dating’ event with employers where students get to talk in small groups to different types of employers, companies and organisations to gain insight into the world of work in the environmental/sustainability field and a chance to socialise and network with potential employers who might be recruiting (see photos). This networking with potential employers is also a central part of the whole of the MSc course through the weekly Policy seminars with external speakers during the first and second terms.
The Careers Service also has a Placement and Internship Advisor who offers regular clinics within the department to help students who wish to find internship opportunities. The Department and the Careers Service work actively to encourage students to find appropriate internships where there is clear benefit in doing so, while also fitting within the demands of the MSc programme.
Bill works closely with Dr Kaveh Madani (Director of Alumni) and the CEP Alumni Committee, which brings together alumni from across the years to organise and coordinate events and activities. An important link between the alumni and careers is the very active email listserve network where jobs and internships are advertised directly from employers to alumni. Many major employers actively use our network to recruit new staff on a regular basis.
"The most direct help from the ICCET course was the initial job posting on the ICCET notice board. This posting for a manufacturing site auditing position transpired into a recommendation for an HQ role in the company's European operations in Germany. The Imperial name and MSc qualification carry a lot of weight on the continent. Three years down the road I now manage a small team in Germany to look after the corporation's compliance with environmental legislation as well as carrying out external communication and promotion activities. Having come from the first year of the Business Option I can safely say that the introduction to European policy and the European Commission as well as presentation and reporting skills have been the main elements I have referred to in my career. With the value of hindsight, skills like corporate policy preparation and product marketing techniques for environmental and sustainable issues are a great help."
"I produced my M.Sc. project with Professor ApSimon (Imperial) and with Dr. Hugh Somerville, who is the head of Environment at British Airways. During my thesis, I undertook various forecasting analyses and current market views of the aviation sector. This helped me to develop my knowledge of the aviation industry. Dr Somerville gave a real industry perspective rather that just a purely theoretical one. Upon graduation I was unwilling to take on a long-term position since I had to return to Greece for my National Service. Upon returning to the UK I applied for a position advertised at IATA (International Air Transport Association) and got it. Although I am not actually working within the Environment section of IATA, a lot of the figures and forecasts that I help to produce are used to estimate future emissions, noise, required capacity and infrastructure for the aviation industry. I believe that my project was very useful. The Environmental Analysis and Assessment techniques that I learned on the course are also very relevant."
"Thanks to the Imperial MSc I was introduced to environment work at the international level. After my degree I started a career with the UK Diplomatic Service in their brand new Environment Policy Department. Initially, I worked on climate change and a range of internal environment initiatives. One year on, I have just been promoted and will take on some of the more political and challenging climate change work."
"The ICCET MSc course (Energy Policy Option) certainly did help me find employment positions. Positions held include: Gas Utility, working on regulatory issues; International Energy Agency (IEA), energy sector restructuring in Eastern Europe; and, European Conference of Ministers of Transport, transport and environment restructuring and regulatory issues. That was one of the main reasons I enrolled, and I'm sure I could have made much more use of the avenues that can be opened through the contacts of ICCET staff with industry and business professionals. Organising a thesis with a potential employer is a great advantage but, more generally, Imperial College has a worldwide reputation for science and engineering and on many occasions I have worked with people who have either been students of IC or hold it and the University of London in high regard."
Fran L Monks
"While producing my thesis I made links with B&Q thanks to the ICCET name. This connection gave me a jump-start … as Shell International took me on as an Environmental Advisor. This position quickly developed into sustainable development advisor as their awareness of the issues at stake grew. After two years of trying to turn the offshore oil industry green, I was recruited to Shell's internal think tank, to contribute expertise on sustainable development and social trends to their scenario building. This work is used to challenge strategic decisions at the highest level in the company."
Bilal M Syed
"ICCET offered a distinctive blend of both technical and management policy environmental courses which helped me make the transition from the Private Sector (ICI Plc) to an International Financial Institution (The World Bank), both in Senior Environmental Management positions, where I could use these techniques effectively for implementation both at the local and national level."
Dawn Wong BP, Aberdeen, UK
"Economics underpins the basis of modern society regardless of country, location or wealth. Working within the market economy for the good of the environment is the only way to realistically combat the problems that the system has generated in the first place. Recently the EU and UK government have both been passing environmental laws that are based on market mechanisms. Learning about these tools during the MSC has been helpful in my current job, which is about carbon capture and storage. The skills I have learnt while doing my dissertation in the area of environmental economics have been directly transferable into my job with BP and have allowed me to engage in discussion with my colleagues about the environment in a language that they can understand."
Ben Dixon, ERM prize for Best Dissertation, The Bridgespan Group, Boston, USA
"I was on the 2001-2 MSc course, and decided for my thesis to concentrate on the critical sustainable development issues associated with the Scottish mountains. When it came down to it, this was a question that was best framed in environmental economics terms - who valued the mountain environment, how much, and how was this value being reflected in public policy decisions? In applying an economic valuation method to these questions, I soon found out for myself all the challenges of putting a price on environmental goods, but also the benefits that can come from viewing environmental problems through an economic lens. My experiences of using environmental economics tools have fundamentally changed the way I think about environmental issues and have been very applicable in my new job as a consultant working on strategies for clients in the non-profit sector."
"Both tutors and fellow students came from a varied and very interesting professional and international background. Through excellent and challenging discussions I was forced to critically question, reassess and communicate my points of view. The varied mix ensured a unique, creative and fun environment in which to pursue the studies. The core course but especially The Global Environmental Change and Policy Option provided an extremely challenging and creative environment. The teamwork approach and freedom to explore innovative concepts in a relatively small group allowed me, with a strong scientific background, to examine and understand the complex interactions between the environmental, economical and social systems. During my course, but especially now at work I have come to appreciate the wide and strong network of alumni. It is increasingly important to network and establish links between different sometimes seemingly unrelat ed subject areas. This is always good for surprises. During my course I worked part-time a t an environmental technology fund provider which helped me to find out whether this is the line of work that I wanted to get into. I now work as a Socially Responsible Investment Analyst on a wide range of environmental, social and financial issues and how they relate to corporate responsibility for one of the UK's leading SRI houses, Friends Ivory & Sime."
"The Global Option was instrumental in enabling me to mak e the leap from a career in document ary film-making, and a first degree in History, to the environment business. The Option's policy element underpinned my work on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species and fores ts as a Research Officer in WWF-UK's Global Policy Unit. My MSc project on tourism certification proved important in securing my promotion to Tourism Policy Officer after nine months. Looking back, my career progression looks carefully planned, but in reality, it has been a case of seizing opportunities that have presented themselves, as well as using both knowledge and contacts gained during the MSc."
Vanessa King, Policy Analyst (Hazardous Substances and New Organisms), Ministry for the Environment, Wellington, New Zealand.
"The knowledge I gained from the MSc course generally, and the Health and Environment option specifically, has been invaluable in my career since leaving ICCET. Working on the BSE Inquiry required many of the skills gained on the option, especially those to do with the principles of epidemiology and health risk assessment. The Policy sessions were also very useful in this regard. In my current position I have used my knowledge of toxicology and epidemiology, as applied to the development of policy surrounding controls on hazardous substances. The mix of disciplines studied, and the emphasis on practical application of scientific principles, was very well executed and has left me in an excellent position for employment in several environmental fields."
Joanna Pope, University of Birmingham
"The main strength of the health option is the opportunity to meet people from a wide variety of professions who lecture on different topics within the course. This brings the real world into the classroom, giving the theory a more practical element. I am now a research associate in Occupational Health at the University of Birmingham and my knowledge of the industry from talking to visiting lecturers gives me extra confidence when talking to others at company meetings."
James Grellier, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Ltd
"The whole health option course provided me with a sound knowledge of the broad area of health and the environment. Specifically, the training I received in the principles of exposure assessment, toxicology and epidemiology served me excellently in my summer project, which I undertook in Romania. The generic project skills which I learnt throughout the duration of the course have given me the resources to draw upon as a freelance environmental consultant."
"Joining ICCET was one of the best decisions I have made. The Pollution Option led me into a job as a policy advisor for Waste Management International (at that time the world's largest environmental services company). My role expanded into business improvement and operations, and took me to waste facilities all over Europe! After four years, I moved into consultancy. I am currently a Manager in the Environmental Practice within PricewaterhouseCoopers - it is full of ICCET graduates, and I am very happy here. I am still in touch with many friends from the course, and even married one of them."
"I was a student on the MSc Environmental Technology course back in 1978, when I took the 'Pollution Option'. A principal benefit of this course was that the topics were taught by leading practitioners in their field. Not only did this provide a high quality of teaching, but also many useful contacts in the environmental field, which have proved invaluable to this day. I subsequently became Managing Director of Stanger Science and Environment, followed by the same position with Air Quality Consultants Ltd. I have continued to recruit new staff from the MSc course over the years, and remain impressed, not only by the technical abilities shown, but also the professional attitudes and commercial appreciation which the course appears to foster."
"Potential Students! Be assured that the Environmental Technology course at Imperial College is second to none. Arising directly from the Dissertation I wrote for the course, I soon landed a job as a Director of a Company (The Metropolitan Water Company) putting my academic work directly to practical and productive use in a commercial environment. The network you gain access to through fellow colleagues past and contemporary will also stand you in valuable stead for future employment."
Gemma Berridge, Environmental Consultant, Waterman Environmental
"Obtaining an MSc in Environmental Technology has proven to be both an enjoyable and invaluable experience. The skills I learnt whilst undertaking the Environmental Analysis and Assessment option have been directly transferable in my role as a Land Quality and Development Consultant, enabling me to apply both technical and commercial understanding in a constantly evolving sector. For my thesis I worked directly with Dr Geraldene Wharton and other members of the Lowland Catchment Research project, contributing to the research base for the new Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). When I joined the course in 2003 I was unaware of ICCET's impressive reputation within the industry. This along with a very strong Alumni network played a fundamental role in my obtaining my first graduate position."