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What Types of Skills are Best for a Sustainability Studies Major?

Sponsored by, Lockheed Martin
WayUp Team

If the idea of contributing to solutions for real environmental change appeals to you, then becoming a sustainability studies major might be the right fit for you. What’s the best way to thrive as a sustainability studies major and set yourself up for success? It starts with having the right skill set.

Here are the top skills the most successful sustainability studies majors possess.

Communication Skills

Whether in a lab or a classroom, sustainability studies majors need to be able to work both independently and in groups to study environmental challenges and determine potential solutions. Because of this, you need to be skilled at helping your entire group come to a conclusion—even when not everyone agrees. You will also need to present your findings, whether in a research paper or in a presentation to your class and professor. For this reason, you will need to share your findings and opinions clearly and effectively.

Problem-Solving Skills
Another key skill for sustainability studies majors is the ability to take on complex problems with a combination of creativity and analytical approaches. Many areas of sustainability studies are constantly evolving, which means the topics you’re working on won’t always have a right or wrong answer. Still, sustainability studies majors need to keep working towards new solutions. In order to do this, you’ll have to think about the best way to complete a project and outline the steps it will take to get it done.

Research Skills

Since the work of a sustainability studies major incorporates science, social science and humanities, you’ll need to be a thorough, inquisitive researcher across a range of subject areas. You’ll need to be able to draw conclusions from your research findings and understand how existing research can help you better understand your field of study.

Math and Science Skills

A strong understanding of environmental science and the ability to analyze and report on data are incredibly valuable skills for sustainability studies majors. You’ll be entering a field that has a tremendous amount of data associated with it, which is only going to increase over time. Being able to read, understand and act on complex reports and statistics related to sustainability is important, whether you’re looking to work at a small company or a large one. Physics, biology, chemistry and trigonometry will all be put to good use in many sustainability careers.


Since sustainability studies majors are part of an ever-changing field, you’ll need to be open to seeking out new technologies, research methods and ideas on a regular basis. Your job will depend on looking at sustainability-related problems from different perspectives as you work to find the best possible solutions.