How My Psychology & Chemistry Degrees Can Be Used in Sustainability

How do my Psychology and Chemistry degrees prepare me for careers in the field of Sustainability? Before diving into the different career paths, you could take to pursue a career in the field of Sustainability let’s define what Sustainability is. Sustainability is “the ability of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time” (Cambridge University Press & Assessment, 2023).

Let’s take a closer look at some companies that promote sustainability. McCormick & Company was ranked #6 globally for most sustainable corporation and they actively manage their global impact as they are transitioning their packaging of the different seasonings to 100% circular packaging, meaning it is intended to be reused, recycled, or composted rather than thrown away. ExxonMobil is another company that has a dedication to sustainability, and they prioritize energy conservation and lowering carbon emissions by providing solutions to customers while they oversee natural resources such as lubricants, fuels, and chemicals. Both organizations are sustainability giants where ExxonMobil prioritizes energy conservation and McCormick & Company places an emphasis on minimizing their environmental impact.

To learn more about what it’s like to work in the field of the sustainability, the Center for Career Development has many resources such as HuskyLink. This platform connects current University of Connecticut students with alumni within aspiring career fields to provide students with an opportunity to gain insight into the company or career field. Students interested in pursuing a career in the field of sustainability can connect with alumni that have either had experience within that career field or currently work in the field of sustainability.

Now that we’ve looked at what sustainability is and what organizations and corporations are actively changing their environmental impact, let’s take a deep dive into the different career fields you can take as a CLAS graduate in Sustainability.

Environmental Chemists

Recent chemistry graduates can pursue a career in environmental chemistry. An Environmental Chemist will spend their time researching how chemicals affect the environment and how the environment can be damaged or restored by human activity Their responsibilities may involve working in the field or collecting samples and making measurements, and usually operate in mixed environments, such as an office or a laboratory. Environmental chemists are often employed by numerous organizations, including local, state, and federal agencies that handle regulations and administration. Some careers that you can pursue with a degree in chemistry include industrial ecologist, climate change activist, and environmental auditor.

Clinical and Environmental Psychologists

A career in sustainability is certainly possible for recent psychology graduates. Climate and Environmental psychologists are usually employed in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations. Researchers investigate how people interact and react to their environment. Through their investigations, they aim to explore questions like why someone might decide to recycle, what drives others to embrace eco-friendly habits, and why some choose not to take part in sustainability initiatives. Recent graduate students can pursue one of two paths to become a clinical or environmental psychologist: obtain a master’s degree in environmental or clinical psychology or earn a doctorate (PhD).

Although pursuing a career in sustainability may seem overwhelming at first to recent College of Liberal Arts grads, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several options. While environmental chemistry offers a more technical approach to addressing environmental concerns, clinical and environmental psychology offer opportunities to explore the human aspect of sustainability. Graduates may contribute to the effort in creating an environmentally friendly future by seeking further education or exploring certain career opportunities within these sectors. To ask any questions about pursuing a career in sustainability or explore possibilities for your major, schedule an appointment a Career Coach!


By Yashira Fernandes
Yashira Fernandes