Conservation Careers | Highlights from 2021
In 2021, Conservation Careers celebrated its eighth year helping conservationists achieve career success. We’re proud to say that we supported nearly 700,000 conservationists this year on their path to helping wildlife thrive.
2021 has been quite a ride, but we’ve seen lots of momentum building. Many aspiring conservationists, career switchers and professional conservationists have used COVID-19 as an opportunity to kick-start or accelerate their careers, finding more meaning and creating more impact.
We’ve also seen jobs flood back into the conservation sector, and new roles being created as a result of the green recovery. It’s exciting to see these new opportunities for a greater diversity of aspiring conservationists to join in creating a world in which wildlife can thrive.
As we look ahead to 2022, here are our highlights from this past year, and a glimpse into what we’re planning next!
Conservation Career Kick-Starter | Helping >2,000 Kick Stars
During 2019 and 2020, we piloted our flagship course, the Conservation Career Kick-Starter, at 40+ universities worldwide. In 2021, we formally partnered with a number of these universities to give their students a head start in the industry.
“This is an absolutely unmissable opportunity in my book if you have any career aspirations whatsoever: academic, conservation, consultancy, general graduate market. The process of self-reflection as part of the course will deeply empower you going forward, no matter what path – it will be a fruitful one” – Professor Brendan Godley, Chair in Conservation Science, Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC), University of Exeter.
As of December 2021, over 2,000 kick stars (our inspiring students!) have enrolled in the Conservation Career Kick Starter in both English and Spanish, and it has a 98.9% satisfaction and 99.3% recommendation rating. Wow!
We continue to work with new universities as part of our Conservation Career Kick-Starter | Student Pilot Programme. If you’re a current student or alumni, feel free to share the link with your course or program leader!
Communications for Conservation Projects | Reaching 350+ Comms Stars
In 2020 great Sir David Attenborough said that “Saving the planet is now a communications challenge”.
Within conservation, there is a growing realisation that we need to do much more to share our messages and encourage more support and action. As a result, conservation employers are rapidly looking for people with communications skills.
At Conservation Careers, we analysed 29,767 conservation jobs, from over 100 countries, and discovered that 41% explicitly wanted people with communications skills or experience.
To help, we launched a totally new online course in 2020 to help conservationists plan and deliver effective communications activities with confidence, boosting their employability and impact. The course is led by Lloyd Gofton, who has 20 years of top-level communications experience, and a deep commitment to wildlife conservation.
We’ve already welcomed three intakes and over 350 Comms Stars (as we like to call them!) on our ‘Conservation Career-Booster | Communications for Conservation Projects’ and have been thrilled to see many of them land conservation jobs directly as a result of the training.
The Conservation Career Accelerator Launched | Unlocking happiness and impact
Do you work in wildlife conservation, but feel you’d like to have more impact, purpose and happiness in your career?
In 2021, we launched a new 12-week online course, the Conservation Career Accelerator, which takes you through a step-by-step process to help you achieve just that.
The structure of the course has been informed by six years of teaching career planning to over 120 amazing students on the University of Cambridge, Masters in Conservation Leadership.
How to Apply for Any Conservation Job Launched | Land more interviews!
The career supergroup includes Dr Fernando Mateos-González (Nando) of Bioblogía, a source for knowledge, advice and inspiration for people seeking careers in conservation biology. It also includes Dr Stephanie Schuttler of Fancy Scientist, an unconventional wildlife biologist, entrepreneur, and careers adviser who has spent nearly two decades studying all over the world.
And last but not least, Dr Nick Askew, Founder and Director of Conservation Careers, who has over 20 years’ experience as a professional conservationist across the Academic, Private, Public, Charity and Enterprise sectors.
We published 19 new podcast episodes this year:
- Dr Stephanie Schuttler | Fancy Scientist
- Josh Powell | National Geographic Explorer & WWF Voices Presenter
- Women in Conservation
- Exploitation in Volunteering (our first career supergroup podcast!)
- Helen Turnbull | The Cape Leopard Trust
- Applying for Conservation Jobs
- Making Conservation Better
- Marnix van Holland | WWF
- Professor David Hill CBE | The Environment Bank
- How to survive academia (& enjoy it!)
- James Bartram | President of IUCN Canada
- Nancy Thomson | Thomson Environmental Consultants
- How to get conservation experience?
- Dr Hugh Safford | Forest Fires & Conservation
- I wish I knew sooner…
- Making the most of conservation events (for your career)
- The Power of Communications for Conservationists
- How to get stuff done
- The Diversity Deficit in Conservation | Cade London
- Check out all our podcast episodes!
Read all our articles on our Careers Advice blog!
Would you like to use your writing skills to help share conservation careers advice with our global audience? We’re currently recruiting volunteer Conservation Careers Bloggers for 2022! Find out more about becoming CC Blogger here.
Team Conservation Careers Grew
Who is Conservation Careers? And how do we do all the things that we do?
Believe it or not, we get asked these questions pretty often!
Since we launched Conservation Careers in 2013, collaboration has been at the core of what we do. We’ve been joined by dedicated partners, job posters, Conservation Careers Bloggers, researchers and – since 2019 – Social Media Officers.
We are enormously grateful to our team of passionate people all around the world. It’s thanks to this team that we’ve been able to support nearly 700,000 conservationists in 2021 on their path to helping wildlife thrive!
Looking ahead to 2022
It’s been quite a ride … and as we look forwards to 2022, we’re excited about what’s in store.
Firstly, we’ll be launching a totally new community called CC Pro very soon. This is a private (non-Facebook) community where you’ll be able to access direct support from us, enjoy regular events, get peer support and SO much more. We’ve been quietly piloting it for the past few months … and it’s quickly become an inspiring place to spend time each day. We can’t wait to tell you more.
Secondly, we’re planning to totally rebuild our website next year. Gulp. The design work has all been done, and it’s over to the developers to put the plans into action. It’s no small task – with thousands of pages, posts and jobs to recreate – but the new site is going to be much faster, simpler and easier to use for all. We think you’re going to love it 🙂
As part of our development, we’re also considering expanding our focus into conservation fundraising. Within this, we’re seeking to create a searchable database of conservation funding opportunities for training, research, experiences and projects. If you like the idea, let us know.
Next year, we’re also planning to launch a specialist agency ‘Communicating Conservation’. Through this, we’ll be able to help conservation organisations – large and small – to deliver on individual communications, marketing and PR projects. We will also be able to help as a longer-term partner to drive strategic direction, training and day-to-day campaign support. If this sounds interesting, do get in touch.
We’re excited to be supporting a new programme to bring expert training into school classrooms for children aged 9-13. ExpertEd aims to provide free learning opportunities to benefit everyone, including the most disadvantaged. We’ll be supporting their dedicated after-school clubs for those pupils who want to know more and look deeper into a possible career in conservation.
Finally, we’ve been increasing our focus on supporting greater diversity, equity and inclusion within conservation. In 2021 we worked with a number of experts, organisations and a focus group to better understand issues raised within the conservation sector. In 2022 we plan to continue this work so we can play our part in removing barriers and creating opportunities for under-represented people and groups.
By now, you probably know that we’re always open to new ideas that come along, so do get in touch if you think we can help or improve things within conservation in some way.
Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned as we keep innovating on our mission to help conservationists achieve career success.
Here’s to a great 2022 for all.