What Does an Intelligence Analyst’s Job Look Like?

Being an intelligence analyst is an exciting career path that requires critical thinking and an analytical mindset. You’ll play a key role in decreasing both physical and digital threats at home and abroad. If you’re thinking of becoming an intelligence analyst, you might be wondering what a day on the job looks like. Depending on your specific role and the company where you work, a day on the job might include one or more of these assignments.

Gathering Critical Information

Intelligence analysts are some of the most thorough researchers out there. In this role, you will be tasked with finding out as much as possible about the subject assigned to you. Collecting this information can take many forms: fieldwork and interviewing, location searches and computer research to compliment your work in the field. Once you have completed your research you will then compile it into a report to share with your company so they can take the necessary next steps.

Data Analysis and Threat Assessment

An intelligence analyst’s job relies heavily on data collection and analysis to pinpoint potential threats in their home country and in countries across the world. You’ll be looking at details related to geography, historical events and statistics, and putting all the puzzle pieces together. With this information, you’ll build a more complete understanding of risks to determine what details are beneficial, and what information is misleading or not considered a threat. Your data analysis and threat assessment work could be used to improve intelligence, reconnaissance or surveillance efforts, monitor for foreign computer network operations or deploy technologies for countering cyber attacks.

Crisis Management

When it comes to intelligence analysis, ensuring everyone at your company knows how to respond properly to threats is a critical part of the job. In this function of your role, you might build, maintain and update crisis management plans and protocol. You might also organize exercises to train others at your organization on the importance of crisis management to make sure the threats you can’t anticipate are handled before they get out of control. You will also gather data about the state of your company’s crisis management solutions and present your findings to your team.

Being an intelligence analyst comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility, but it is also an incredibly rewarding career path with the potential to make a positive impact not just on your own country but around the world. By having a clear idea of what to expect from the role, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success and land the job you want.

Types of Entry-Level Jobs for Sustainability Studies Majors

Being a sustainability studies major opens the door to a wide range of opportunities. From science to business to journalism, odds are, there’s a way to channel your passion for sustainability studies into the career path that’s most exciting to you. But with so many opportunities out there, deciding on that path might feel a little overwhelming. One way to narrow your focus is by taking on a paid or unpaid internship during college. This will help you build up your skillset while also helping you identify the type of career that’s right for you. In the process, it will also give you a better idea of the type of entry-level jobs to apply for.

Here are some of the most common entry-level jobs for sustainability studies majors:

Accountant or auditor

As an accountant or auditor, you’ll be responsible for keeping track of how your company’s sustainability programs are performing, including how much money the company is spending versus saving in its effort to be more environmentally friendly. You’ll also measure and report on how much your company’s efforts are helping the environment in areas like recycling and waste reduction. Energy auditors specifically focus on building inspections, looking for sustainability-related improvements.

Analytic Methods Analyst

In this role, you’ll be making key business decisions by analyzing data from military and commercial aircraft systems, aircraft operations and maintenance records. You will be responsible for anticipating any issues with aircraft fleets, studying results and tracking success. You’ll then communicate your findings to your company and its clients. Part of your job will also include looking for ways to improve the design and function of aircraft.


If you’re interested in a more scientific field, microbiology might be a good fit for you. This role is very hands-on, and has the potential to make a big difference far beyond your company’s walls. As a microbiologist, you’ll study viruses and bacteria to determine how they might play a role in reducing pollution or minimizing the use of fossil fuels by creating the biofuels of the future.

Chemical engineer

As a chemical engineer, you’ll focus specifically on the production processes of a company and the chemicals involved in those processes. It will be your job to find ways to replace existing production methods with renewable resources that are kinder to the environment. For example, you might research and test biodegradable chemicals that are less likely to cause pollution.

Compliance officer

As a compliance officer, you’ll work to ensure your company is complying with health, safety and environmental laws and regulations. In this job, you could work on reports about your sustainability findings or present recommendations that will help your company achieve (or even exceed) certain regulation standards.

Human resources specialist

As a human resources specialist focusing on sustainability, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that employees understand and comply with different sustainability efforts set up by your company. In this role, you might also help with preparing and conducting training programs for new employees to educate them on what corporate sustainability means and how to achieve it.

Occupational health and safety technician

In this role, you’ll assist with projects that improve the safety of workers, company buildings and the health and safety impact your company has on the general public. This might take the form of helping design a safer workplace environment, performing inspections or monitoring the quality of air in your office building to ensure there are no toxins.

As a sustainability studies major, you have a wide range of career paths to choose from. To ensure that you pick a position that’s right for you, it’s important to figure out where your interests lie and to pursue a role that you’re passionate about. Whether that ends up being a molecular biologist or a compliance officer, the skills you’ve developed in school and during any internships will definitely help you shine.

Top 5 Sustainability Interview Questions

A career in sustainability is an exciting opportunity for your work to have a real-world impact on the environment. If you’re considering a job in this area, you might be wondering what to expect from the interview and how to set yourself up for success. There are a wide range of sustainability career paths you can take, from politics and policy to journalism and business, and each of these will come with its own unique set of interview questions. That said, these questions will likely come up in most of your interviews.

Why did you decide to go into the field of sustainability?

This is a broad question with no right or wrong answer, but it’s also a great chance to tell a personal story about why working in sustainability is important to you. To prepare, think about what inspired you to pursue this field of study and any memorable experiences from your classes or internships that made you certain you chose the right career path. Think of this question as a more targeted version of “tell me about yourself”.

Tell me what interests you most about this specific role.

This question is a great opportunity to highlight what you learned as a sustainability studies major and during any internships you had. It’s generally targeted toward getting a sense of what motivates you and how passionate you are about the potential job. To answer this question effectively, make sure you’ve done your research on the company so you can personalize your answers to the specific role you’re interviewing for. Emphasizing why your interest matches their job description is a great way to show you’re qualified.

How would you describe your work process?

Sustainability jobs often require a mix of creative and analytical skills. They can be research-heavy, but also rely on effective communication with team members. This question is designed to understand how your process will fit into a company’s work environment. To answer it, consider how you take a project from initial planning stages to execution? Think carefully about your process for gathering information, forming opinions and checking your work before presenting.

Tell me about a recent challenge you faced while working on a sustainability project. How did you overcome it?

This question is designed to test your critical thinking and problem-solving skills by asking you about the path you took to solve a specific challenge. When answering this question, it’s important to be specific and outline the steps you took along with your reasons for taking them. For example, what alternative approaches did you consider when making those decisions and why did you ultimately decide on your final approach? This will show the hiring manager that you’re thoughtful about your decisions, you account for any possible drawbacks, and that you take calculated risks when necessary.

Tell me about a project that didn’t work out. What did you learn?

It’s not fun to talk about your failures, but being able to show what you’ve learned from them is extremely important. In an ever-changing field like sustainability studies, you’ll need to constantly adapt to changing research and new scientific studies. Many times, you’ll be working in areas that don’t have much prior research, which means you’ll need to be comfortable with testing things and learning from them when projects don’t go according to plan. To answer this question, think about a project that didn’t go smoothly but still positively impacted you work in a big way.

Interviewing for a job in sustainability might seem a bit intimidating at first, but by knowing what to expect and how to prepare your answers, you’ll be sure to impress the hiring manager and get one step closer to landing the job.

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

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.

How to Get a Job in Sustainability

This is an industry that draws in people who care about preserving the environment for future generations, and the number of sustainability-related careers has been growing. This is great news for recent grads who are passionate about the planet and want to contribute to protecting its resources. Here are the steps you need to take if you want to land a job in sustainability studies.

  1. Develop your knowledge of sustainability topics

When you’re planning for your career, you want to have as broad an understanding of sustainability-related fields as possible. Think through the classes you’ve taken in areas like landscape architecture, economics, urban planning and anthropology. Make a point to stay on top of sustainability-related news and consider subscribing to newsletters that cover sustainability like the NASA Global Climate Change newsletter or the Climate Action newsletter. Beyond this, do some research to find out about specific companies doing work in sustainability. Forbes’ annual list of “The World’s Most Sustainable Companies” is a great place to start.

  1. Determine what aspects of sustainability you’re interested in

After you’ve gotten a good grasp on what’s happening in the sustainability space, the next step is narrowing your focus so you can pick a career path that matches your interests and skills. For example, if you enjoy tracking metrics and have knack for making everything you do more efficient, you might consider a career as an analytic methods analyst. Or, if you’ve always been passionate about government’s role in sustainability issues, you might consider a career in environmental policy and planning. Other potential career paths include business, landscape and architectural design and marine science.

  1. Intern with a company that focuses on sustainability

Once you’ve done your industry research and you have a strong focus in mind, the next step is getting hands-on experience by interning at a company that focuses on sustainability. Internships are a great way to gain deeper knowledge of a field while also getting a sense of the role or roles that are best for you. Keep in mind that while smaller companies are great for a more cross-functional internship experience, bigger companies might give you a chance to specialize in a very specific field and gain the type of industry experience most people only get once they’re working a full-time job.

  1. Know what your top-choice sustainability companies look for

While companies focusing on sustainability have plenty of differences, they all share a passion for environmental preservation. They also share a desire to hire smart, motivated recent grads to join their teams. Once you have an internship or two on your resume and start applying to full-time jobs, pay close attention to the mission and work of each company and think about how everything you’ve learned so far can help your potential new employer. Whether you’re applying online or heading to an in-person interview, be sure to highlight everything you’ve learned about the industry so far, and emphasize your passion for the company and the field of sustainability.

By following these tips and honing your skills and knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to finding a sustainability job that’s right for you.

What is a Sustainability Studies Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you care deeply about the environment and keeping it in tact for future generations? Are you passionate about a wide range of academic subjects ranging from science to the humanities? If so, a sustainability studies major might be for you.

What is a sustainability studies major?

Sustainability studies majors learn how to protect, preserve and make the smartest possible use of the planet’s natural resources. Students in this major pull from a wide range of study areas, including science, social science and the humanities. Typical classes in this major include ecology, landscape architecture, urban planning, economics, anthropology and sociology.

Is it right for me?

The field of sustainability studies is best suited for someone who is interested in current environmental challenges and looking to incorporate a variety of subject areas and research methods into their work. Pursuing a major in sustainability studies means you will be part of timely, important work to better understand and make improvements to the ways we interact with the planet.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if a sustainability studies major is right for you:

  • Am I thoughtful? Do I enjoy research-heavy work?
  • Am I open-minded in my work? Do I look at something from a variety of perspectives to find the best possible solution? Am I both creative and analytical?
  • Am I curious? Do I constantly seek out new technologies, research and ideas?
  • Am I a problem solver? Do I care deeply about finding solutions to complex challenges?
  • Am I inquisitive? Do I question how things are currently done and look for ways to do them better?

If you responded “Yes” to all or most of the above questions, then being a sustainability studies major might be for you.

What can I do with a sustainability studies degree?

There isn’t a single go-to career path for those in the field of sustainability studies. Instead, there are a wide range of career paths to choose from. Sustainability studies majors can look into positions and advanced degrees involving:

  • law
  • politics
  • policy and planning
  • journalism
  • business
  • landscape and architectural design
  • marine sciences
  • … and more

What do sustainability studies professionals earn?

With a variety of career options, there are also a range of salaries sustainability professionals can make. Chemical engineers and atmospheric and space scientists make $90,000–$93,000 on average, while environmental engineers, civil engineers, health and safety engineers and industrial engineers make between $75,500 and $79,000 on average. The average salary also goes up significantly as you advance in your career, with chief sustainability executives making an average of $167,000.

Types of Jobs in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

There are a range of job opportunities within the aerospace and defense industry, many of them targeted toward those with a strong aptitude in science and math. If you have a passion for aerospace and defense, odds are there’s a way to channel it into an exciting, fulfilling career. The challenge is deciding what path is right for you. To test out different careers within this industry, consider taking a paid or unpaid internship during college to get first-hand experience, build up your skillset and get you closer to figuring out the best aerospace and defense entry-level jobs to apply for.

Here are some of the most common jobs within the aerospace and defense industry.

Aerospace engineer

In this role, you’ll be working on military-grade vehicles and systems that can hold up during battle on land, at sea and in the air. Aerospace engineers typically have a background in areas like mechanical and systems engineering, design, structural analysis, and propulsion. Within the field of aerospace engineering, you could specialize in assignments like flight tests, mission systems or airframe structural analysis and design.

Systems engineer 

As a systems engineer, you’ll be responsible for building technology with a wide range of uses, from collecting threat information to protecting infrastructure to monitoring the climate. Data will be at the center of your job, and you’ll often work with software development teams to build software that helps improve aircraft function. You’ll also find ways to better analyze and interpret recorded data.

Electrical engineer

As an electrical engineer, your team will be be responsible for designing and building electronics for spacecraft, aircraft or helicopters. In this role, you could work on improving systems for airspace management, surveillance, satellite communication and navigation. You might also focus on the use of alternative energy sources within the aerospace and defense industry.

Flight inspector

In this role, you’ll be responsible for keeping your company’s essential aerospace and defense systems running smoothly. Your job will be part maintenance and part anticipating and solving potential risks before they become problems. In short, your work will provide critical support for all of the game-changing technologies being built at your company.

Mechanical engineer
As a mechanical engineer your work will improve a range of technologies, including robots, engines, heat transfer systems and controls for aircraft and spacecraft. You’ll research, plan, design, develop and test new systems that span a wide range of aerospace and defense applications. At Lockheed Martin, mechanical engineers have been behind both the Hubble Telescope and the Phoenix Mars Lander. That means, your work will have far-reaching applications and contribute directly to the future of the aerospace and defense industry.

Quality assurance engineer
In this role, you’ll be responsible for ensuring every piece of technology and every process created by your company is as best as it can possibly be. You’ll work to meet and exceed quality requirements and come up with even better ways to improve the performance of everything your company builds and does. Your focus might be on software, systems, service, manufacturing, hardware or program management quality.

If you’re interested in working in the aerospace and defense industry, you have a wide range of career paths to choose from. To ensure that you pick a position that’s right for you, it’s important to figure out where your interests lie and to pursue a role that you’re passionate about. Whether that ends up being a flight inspector or a mechanical engineer, the skills you’ve developed in school and during any internships will definitely help you shine.