3 reasons why
you should consider a career in conservation

By Deborah Akintayo

I was a young Nigerian girl in Lagos. Tired and extremely frustrated from applying for countless scholarships to universities. I was in my own world, blind to what was going on around me or the plight of others. It was in this unpalatable state that I stumbled on African Leadership University. It was like an answer to my prayers, and like the countless other answers I had encountered, I applied, got admitted, and received a scholarship. There was something different about this scholarship offer. It was a conservation scholarship.

I was genuinely intrigued, and although it was not my first time hearing the word, conservation, it was the first time I decided to be intentional about considering it as something I wanted to pursue in the future. Contrary to how confident I sounded in my application, I practically had no idea what conservation was about or what it truly entailed. To present a compelling application, I had to do an immense amount of research. Looking back, it was a good idea because, through this research, I discovered a distinct approach to life. I found a whole new meaning to life and began to question many decisions in my life.

I discovered an everyday reality: the world is changing, with alarming environmental changes, some of which are erosion, soil biodiversity loss, landslides, desertification, flooding, and extinction of crucial species; the quest to become more sustainable is more emphasized than ever before. Discussions are now centering on becoming more sustainable in the use of animals, plants, and in changing disposal habits. Climate change has proven to have disastrous effects on our environment and lives. For example, Madagascar is currently experiencing severe drought and floods, the cause of which is climate change. Parts of Northern Kenya are also experiencing the same affecting both people and wildlife Another potent example of the despairing effects of global warming is the recent wildfires in California. All these undoubtedly underscore the importance of conservation and conservation-related efforts to ensure the continuity of the planet we call home.

Let’s get to the root of the matter. Why should you, who is and could be doing a billion or even a zillion other things, consider a career in conservation?

Make money whilst doing good.

Well, if everything I’ve said earlier didn’t quite touch your soul, I could tell you that one good reason why you should consider jumping on this wagon is … wait for it, yes, Money. Gone are the days when conservation opportunities required helping in donations and aid. The more significant parts are sustainable and have a huge potential to create wealth, ecotourism, carbon, hunting, forest products, wildlife ranching. Are you looking for something to invest in with a massive revenue potential? Or are you looking for a career with enormous potential for returns? If so, you might want to stop by the conservation cubicle.

This blog piece was written by a second year Global Challenges Conservation Scholar Deborah Oluwagbeminiyi Akintayo