The Best Online Degree For Outdoor Careers

Published on: November 28, 2022

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who enrolls in a degree program does so with an eye on getting a cozy office job. In fact, the coveted corner office which is a dream for many, would be an absolute nightmare for others. Fortunately, there are plenty of other career paths available to students who would prefer to spend their outdoors instead of indoors. Even better, many of the ones that can benefit from a degree can be completed online, leaving students with more time to enjoy the great outdoors. Check out the following online degree options for students who would love outdoor careers.

What Are The Advantages Of An Outdoor Career?

Anyone undecided on whether or not an outdoor career is suitable for them might be wondering about the benefits of this type of career path. Fortunately, there are numerous proven reasons why spending more time in nature can be good for you. These range from increased happiness and more energy, lower stress levels, and even improved memory ( In fact, studies have found that even just some contact with nature can help employees with stress and better their health ( 

Are You Suitable For An Outdoor Career?

Not everyone is cut out for an outdoor career, but if you are then chances are you’ll know it by now. If you enjoy feeling connected to nature, love being active instead of sitting at a desk, and like working with different kinds of people it could be the perfect career path for you. People who excel at outdoor jobs also tend to be excited by the prospect of every day being different and find fulfillment in conservation. Common degrees for these types of jobs include geology, zoology, environmental studies, engineering, archeology, forestry, architecture, and tourism.

Outdoor Industry MBA

A Master of Business Administration in the Outdoor Industry is a great choice for anyone who wants to start their own outdoor business or move up the ladder in a large company. Online degrees in this area tend to have an MBA Core along with specialized tracks in either the product or service side of the industry. The MBA Core will also blend traditional MBA courses along with content tailored towards the outdoor industry. These can include sustainability, hospitality management, natural resource law and economics, and more. 

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences - Conservation Biology and Ecology

Students who want to take on ecological challenges and are concerned about environmental challenges can benefit from a degree in biological sciences with a  concentration in conservation biology and ecology. This type of degree provides students with the knowledge to come up with practical approaches for issues such as the sustainable use of biological resources. Conservation ecology focuses on restoring habitats and ecosystems as well as preventing the extinction of species. While this type of degree program sometimes has an in-person lab component depending on optional electives, most of the required labs are offered online. Common career paths in this field include hydrogeologist, environmental protection specialist, fish and game warden, and fish and wildlife biologist. 

Bachelor of Science in Botany

Bachelor of Science in Botany is a course that up until recently could only be done on campus, but online options are starting to appear too. This degree provides students with an understanding of plant biology, biodiversity, and ecology. It is useful for anyone who wants to follow a career that involves addressing the environmental impacts of human behavior on managed and natural ecosystems. Topics can include plant genetics, plant structure, plant ecology, and laboratory techniques in plant biology. A botany degree can be the first step in a career path as a botanist, ecologist, environmental specialist, and more.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography

Online degrees in geography cover topics such as geographic information systems, global environmental issues, meteorology, world regions, and human geography. It is a versatile field that can teach students about natural and physical sciences as well as provide them with mathematical and analytical skills. Career paths may include cartographers, coastal zone managers, environmental education specialists, zoning investigators, and more.

Master of Environmental Science: Hydrology and Water Security

Students who want to spend their time working with water will enjoy an online degree program such as Master of Environmental Science: Hydrology and Water Security. It is a practical degree for anyone looking for a versatile option to work with water across multiple industries. The curriculum may include hydrometeorology, water security, hydroclimatology, water quality modeling, water resources management, and more. Students can typically choose specializations in Water Management, Water Quality, and Water Quantity. Possible career paths include wetland scientist, hydrology engineer, water resource specialist, environmental protection specialst, and stormwater regulatory manager. 

Master of Natural Resources Stewardship in Forest Sciences

Students whose passion lies in forestry can enroll in online degree programs such as the Master of Natural Resources Stewardship in Forest Sciences. It is an interdisciplinary field addressing resource management challenges as they relate to forests around the world. This degree applies physical, social, and biological sciences to forest sciences to provide students with the knowledge to make fact-based decisions while managing these environments. Students will gain knowledge in topics such as forest planning, forest and fire ecology, applied forest ecology, climate adaptive forest management, and more. Graduates of forestry degree programs often work as fire ecologists, silviculturists, soil scientists, foresters, and other related jobs. 


While most degree programs focussing on outdoor careers will probably not be exclusively online, they tend to have online components that can be done from anywhere. This offers a great way for students who don’t want to be confined to a classroom to complete the portions of their students that would have had to be done at a campus. Of course, there are also many outdoor career paths that have jobs that can be done indoors, which provides students with the best of both worlds.

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