Career Prospects for EMAP Students

“With well over three million jobs devoted to environmental improvement (per the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] in 2013), almost 500,000 job openings available in 2015—and forecasts by the BLS that careers in environmental sustainability will grow by nearly 20% annually—there is plenty of opportunity for those who are inspired to take action to protect the environment and public
health and welfare.” Protecting the Environment–A Half Century of Progress by EPA Alumni Association, September, 2020.

Although environmental issues usually start locally, their impacts/ramifications can rapidly become international in perspective. Therefore, pollutions and environmental impacts are not restricted by political boundaries. For future endeavors, it is important that responses to environmental issues of concern be based on the best available science and a clear understanding of what data measurements mean regardless of where or when the data are generated or measured. This EMAP program is ideally designed to provide future leaders and practitioners in the environmental world with the necessary knowledge, competencies and skills to support future policy endeavors and environment stewardship.

Students graduating from this program will be well equipped with both fundamental and practical knowledge, technical skills and competencies in EMAP that are widely applicable for positions in both the public and private sectors – government (at all levels) agencies and NGOs, research and academic institutions and corporate entities. Environmental research, policy development, monitoring and management, health and safety assessment, and chemicals management and products stewardship will be prime areas for the graduates of the MS-EMAP program.

Moreover, a significant percentage of the EPA workforce will become eligible to retirement in the next several years as the baby boomers reach their retirement age. The same is true for many other governmental agencies (both state and national). Collaborators from both NIST and EPA believe that there is a strong need for such an educational program based on their own needs within their respective governmental agencies.

Every business sector has the need for environment, health and safety assessment, management and regulatories compliance that are critical to successful business operations and provide employment opportunities for graduates. There will be additional opportunities in services that rely critically on chemical and biochemical measurements, such as forensic services, food and nutrition quality control and assessment services, measurement labs in medical tests, chemical and biological companies, just to name a few.

A currently, relevant example of where this degree will provide a strong advantage in terms of future job opportunities for Georgetown EMAP graduates is the enactment of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), also called Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (LCSA), in 2016. The law was ushered through and approved almost unanimously by both republican and democratic law makers in both chambers (403 to 12 in the House and 98 to 1 in the Senate), has a strong support from chemical industries and other stakeholders, and therefore will continue to be the law of land under the current and future U.S. administrations. In brief, the new TSCA emphasizes

  1. Scientific testing and risk-based evaluation of all chemicals (old and new),
  2. Promoting the development and implementation of alternative scientific test methods, including “big data” based methods,
  3. Emphasizing EPA science requirements & new science standards.

The enactment of the new TSCA will create a huge employments space in industries, advocacy groups/NGOs, and federal/state regulatory agencies. Graduates from the Georgetown EMAP program who will be rigorously educated and trained in both metrology (for scientific measurements) and policy (for developing policy based on the best available science) will be ideally suited for employment opportunities created by this new legislation.

More broadly, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2016-17 Edition) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, at, employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists, therefore the graduates of this EMAP program. The above predictions also apply to international job market.

The EMAP graduates will have one of the broadest professional spaces in which to develop a rewarding career of great and lasting societal impacts for the betterment of the world, for instance to become an senior environmental consultantThe following is a non-exhaustive list of places where the EMAP graduates can find great career opportunities:

Federal, State, Local Agencies:
Explore Federal & state agencies websites for programs; Consult with national and international experts through professional organizations such as SOT, SRA, ACT
Examples – EPA (EPA Career Page), FDA, DOI, DHS, OSHA, NIOSH, NIH (NIEHS), CDC, CPSC, DOT, DOE, DOD Congressional Committees, OMB and State/Local level environmental regulatory offices.
Private industry:
Examples – Chemicals, Pesticides, Pharmaceuticals, Foods, Energy, Consumer Products, Biotechnology, Automotive, Consulting Companies, CROs, Environmental Engineering, Trade groups/organizations.
Non-Profit organizations:
Examples – Academic Universities/Colleges, NRDC, EDF, ILSI – HESI, Sierra Club, World Wild Life Fund
Advocacy Groups:
Examples – Environmental Law Firms, American chemistry Council
International Organizations:
Examples – WHO, ECA, FAO, OECD

In summary, the Georgetown EMAP program pioneers an advanced and integrated graduate education and professional training of highest quality in an emerging interdisciplinary field of great societal importance for future environmental sciences and policy leaders and practitioners, particularly in the fields of toxic substances measurement, management, and policy making. They are expected to compete well in an ever increasing employment space that addresses directly the very long-term well being of human society and the planet earth.