Kind Reader, if you have a passion for outdoor activities and want to turn it into a rewarding career, a Masters in Outdoor Recreation could be the perfect choice for you. This postgraduate degree program is designed for individuals who seek to advance their knowledge and skills in various aspects of outdoor recreation, including leadership, management, and conservation. Through this program, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the outdoor industry and learn how to plan, develop, and manage outdoor programs and events. With a heavy focus on experiential learning, a Masters in Outdoor Recreation will equip you with the necessary skills to make a positive impact in the field.
Why Pursue a Master’s in Outdoor Recreation?
Outdoor recreation, once seen as a hobby, is now a quickly growing $677 billion industry that provides more than 6 million jobs in the United States alone. With the growing impact that outdoor recreation has, pursuing a master’s in outdoor recreation has become a popular and practical choice for many students seeking a fulfilling career. Here are some reasons why you should consider pursuing a master’s in outdoor recreation:
- Opportunities for developing outdoor skills and knowledge
- Improved career prospects
- Chance to pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career
- Opportunities to study in the most beautiful natural settings in the world
- Better understanding of environmental stewardship
Opportunities for developing outdoor skills and knowledge
Earning a master’s degree in outdoor recreation provides students with a unique opportunity to learn and develop skills in a variety of outdoor activities. These skills include outdoor leadership, safety considerations, natural resource management, interpretation, and communication. Furthermore, students will gain practical experience and knowledge in areas such as outdoor programs and activities, camping, climbing, hiking, park management, and conservation practices.
Improved Career Prospects
A master’s degree in outdoor recreation can significantly improve your career prospects, both in terms of salary and job options. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for recreation workers is $25,060, while the median annual salary for professionals with a master’s degree in the field is $68,970. Additionally, with a master’s degree, you will have more opportunities for advancement and leadership roles in the industry.
The Curriculum of a Master’s in Outdoor Recreation Program
Masters in outdoor recreation curriculum often includes courses that teach students how to develop and manage outdoor recreation programs, parks and protected areas management, adventure education, tourism management, and natural resource management. Many programs require students to complete a capstone or thesis project that involves original research in the field of outdoor recreation.
Outdoor Program Development and Management
This course teaches students how to create, manage, and evaluate outdoor recreational programs. Students will learn about business plans, budget management, marketing, risk management, and legal issues in outdoor programs.
Parks and Protected Area Management
This course focuses on the management of parks and protected areas. Students will learn about natural resource management techniques, park management strategies, visitor use planning, interpretation, and visitor satisfaction measures.
This course introduces the concepts of adventure education and experiential learning. Students will learn about the psychology of personal and group development, basic outdoor skills, and outdoor leadership.
In this course, students will learn the principles of tourism management, the impact of tourism on the environment and the economy, eco-tourism, and sustainable tourism development.
Natural Resource Management
This course focuses on natural resource management in outdoor recreation. Topics covered include resource assessment, resource protection, resource interpretation, and resource monitoring techniques.
Capstone or Thesis Project
Many programs require students to complete a capstone or thesis project that explores a topic relevant to the field of outdoor recreation. This might involve designing and delivering a new outdoor program or conducting original research on visitor behavior in outdoor recreational settings.
Career Opportunities with a Masters in Outdoor Recreation
A Masters in Outdoor Recreation can open up a large variety of career pathways in the field. Graduates of these programs have a unique set of skills in the area of outdoor recreation and can work in different organizations, such as nonprofit organizations, governments, private and public institutions, and academia. Some of the most popular career pathways after earning a Masterâ€™s degree in outdoor recreation include
Outdoor Recreation Administration
Outdoor Recreation Administration is the most common career choice for many graduates of a masterâ€™s degree in outdoor recreation. These professionals oversee the operations of parks, recreation areas, and campgrounds. Outdoor Recreation Administrators monitor finances, handle logistics, develop policies, and manage personnel.
Environmental Educators work for nonprofit organizations or government agencies to educate people about the importance of preserving natural resources. These professionals develop curriculum, design activities, and work with teachers and students to organize outdoor experiences that teach concepts in environmental science, conservation, and sustainability.
Adventure Therapy Specialist
Adventure Therapy Specialists work with individuals and groups to improve their mental, physical, and emotional well-being through outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and camping trips. These professionals typically work in clinics, hospitals, or schools, and focus on using the power of outdoor exploration and adventure to help disabled people, students, military veterans, and survivors of abuse or addiction.
Ecotourism Specialists promote responsible tourism that focuses on preserving and protecting natural habitats around the world. They work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private organizations to develop eco-tourism opportunities and create new tourism attractions that are sustainable, environmentally responsible, and culturally sensitive.
Outdoor writers and journalists create a range of media, including guidebooks, articles, and films, that focus on outdoor recreation. They typically work as freelance writers or for companies such as magazines, newspapers, online publications, or travel agencies. These professionals use their research and writing skills to tell stories about outdoor adventures and to provide information about outdoor recreation activities and gear.
Outdoor Retail Specialist
Outdoor Retail Specialists typically work in the retail industry, managing sales operations at stores selling outdoor recreation gear and equipment. These professionals manage inventory, oversee marketing efforts, and coordinate sales staff. They also work to create partnerships with other companies or outdoor recreation organizations to increase sales of outdoor gear and equipment.
Conservation Biologists work with government agencies or nonprofit organizations to study plant and animal species, monitor changes in habitats, and develop conservation plans. They work to understand the ecological impact of outdoor recreation activities and develop strategies to mitigate negative effects on natural resources. They may also work to develop education programs about the importance of preserving natural resources and to teach visitors how to responsibly enjoy outdoor recreational activities.
|1||Program Name: Master of Science in Outdoor Recreation|
|2||Duration: 2 years|
|3||Cost: Varies depending on the institution and location, but can range from $20,000 to $40,000 or more|
|4||Pre-requisites: Bachelor’s degree in a related field; some programs may have additional requirements such as experience or certifications|
|5||Career Options: Outdoor program director, wilderness therapist, adventure travel guide, park ranger, outdoor education instructor|
|6||Skills gained: Leadership, risk assessment, environmental conservation, program development and management, outdoor recreation techniques, communication|
|7||Top institutions for this program: University of Utah, University of Oregon, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University, University of Montana, Colorado State University|
Job Prospects with a Master’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation
Pursuing a master’s degree in outdoor recreation can lead to a variety of job opportunities in the field. The outdoor industry is a growing market, and more people are engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, and kayaking. Graduates with a master’s in outdoor recreation can pursue careers in various sectors such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges/universities, and private businesses.
Careers in Government Agencies
Graduates with a master’s degree in outdoor recreation can work for government agencies such as National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and others. These agencies offer opportunities to work in various areas such as recreation management, park ranger, wildlife biologist, environmental protection specialist, and more.
Careers in Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations like the Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, or Outdoor Foundation also offer job prospects for master’s graduates in outdoor recreation. These organizations focus on education, advocacy, and conservation efforts to promote outdoor recreation and ecological sustainability.
Salary Expectations with a Master’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation
Salaries for those with a master’s degree in outdoor recreation depend on various factors such as the industry, job title, and years of experience. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for recreation workers was $27,940 as of May 2020. The median annual salary for conservation scientists and foresters was $63,340 as of May 2020.
Top Paying Industries
According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for recreation workers as of May 2020 were:
|No||Industry||Annual Mean Wage|
|1||Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution||$65,410|
|2||Scientific Research and Development Services||$60,450|
|3||Other Information Services||$47,290|
|5||Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools||$44,740|
Those looking to earn a higher salary with a master’s degree in outdoor recreation can consider pursuing careers in these industries.
Skills you’ll Gain from a Masters in Outdoor Recreation
Outdoor recreation is more than just hiking, camping and climbing. It requires that a person possess a specific set of skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, analytical thinking, and critical decision making. These are the core skills you’ll gain from studying a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program. Pursuing this degree helps you acquire specialized knowledge and practical skills that are directly related to outdoor recreation and can help you work in various sectors of the industry.
A successful career in outdoor recreation requires strong leadership skills. This industry offers numerous opportunities for people who can lead and manage others, making leadership skills essential. In a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program, students learn to take on leadership roles through courses that develop strategy and problem-solving skills, as well as classes that cover communication, personnel management and group facilitation.
Field Research Skills
The field research skillset is critical in the world of outdoor recreation. It is the foundation of knowledge building that allows outdoor recreation professionals to make informed decisions. Masters in Outdoor Recreation programs provide students with practical experience through field visits, laboratory work, and internships. Students learn to collect, analyze, and report data on outdoor recreation sites and activities, and recognized the challenges these activities pose to the environment.
Masters in Outdoor Recreation Management
A Master’s in Outdoor Recreation Management prepares graduates for leadership roles in various fields related to recreation, parks, and tourism. The program focuses on the sustainable use and management of natural resources for recreational purposes.
The courses emphasize recreation program planning, management, and evaluation, natural resource management, interpretation, and personal leadership development. Students learn the principles of ecological sustainability, risk management, and environmental stewardship.
Graduates of a Master’s in Outdoor Recreation Management can pursue careers as park rangers, conservationists, environmental educators, outdoor guides, resort managers, and many more. The positions may vary across the spectrum, and students can seek specialization and work in their area of interest. The alumni have a wide range of career opportunities in the government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.
Online Masters in Outdoor Recreation
The internet has changed the way we learn and gain advanced degrees and education. Traditional brick and mortar universities are no longer the only options for students as online degrees have become a mainstream alternative. This is good news for students who want to pursue a master’s degree, but their demanding schedules limit them.
Online masters in outdoor recreation is a fantastic way for students to get ahead in their career without putting too much pressure on themselves or conflicting their work-life balance. Online programs provide students with the convenience and flexibility they need to further their education and satisfy their other responsibilities.
Online Masters in Outdoor Recreation Curriculum
The curriculum for online masters in outdoor recreation is designed to provide students with the knowledge they need concerning outdoor activities, social aspects impacting outdoor recreation, and the management of outdoor recreation areas. Most curriculums include all or most of the following core courses:
|1||Environmental Science and Policy|
|2||Principles of Natural Resource Management|
|3||Principles of Recreation Management|
|4||Social Science of Outdoor Recreation|
|5||Ecotourism and Sustainable Development|
|6||Leadership in Outdoor Recreation|
Advantages of Online Masters in Outdoor Recreation Degrees
Here are some of the advantages of earning an online masters in outdoor recreation degree:
- Flexibility in Learning
- Lower Tuition Costs
- Less Time
- Developing a Stronger Connection
- Widening Professional Opportunities
Graduates of the Master’s in Outdoor Recreation program have substantial possibilities for employment. Below are some of the primary positions that students can pursue:
1. Park Ranger
Park rangers work for federal, state, or local government managing national parks, trails, and other outdoor recreation areas. They maintain park safety, provide visitor assistance and information, oversee conservation efforts, and enforce park regulations.
2. Outdoor Guide or Leader
An outdoor recreation or adventure guide is responsible for leading groups of people on outdoor activities/ trips, ensuring the safety of all participants, and providing instruction or information about the area and the outdoor activity.
3. Environmental Educator
An environmental educator teaches outdoor education in settings such as outdoor schools, nature centers, and public parks. They develop and implement programs and courses to teach people about the environment, wildlife, and ecology.
4. Camp Director
A camp director is responsible for planning and overseeing the activities of various summer camps, including outdoor adventure camps.
5. Outdoor Equipment Retailer
Some graduates may want to work in outdoor retail. Such jobs can include working for a retailer that sells outdoor equipment, such as camping gear or apparel.
The median annual wage for recreation workers was $26,350 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). O*NET reports that the median salary for outdoor recreation workers is $27,430 annually, with a range of $18,050 to $45,310 per year.
Job Title and Salary
|No||Job Title||Median Salary|
|4||Outdoor Guide or Leader||$30,013|
|5||Outdoor Equipment Retailer||$27,185|
Note: According to Payscale, these salary figures can vary based on factors such as years of experience, level of education, location, and type of employer.
Masters in Outdoor Recreation FAQ
Here are 25 questions and answers about Masters in Outdoor Recreation:
1. What is a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
A Masters in Outdoor Recreation is a graduate degree program that focuses on the study of natural resources, outdoor education, and recreation management.
2. How long does it take to complete a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
The length of the program and the course requirements can vary depending on the school, but typically Masters in Outdoor Recreation programs take two years to complete.
3. What are the admission requirements for a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program?
Admission requirements vary among schools, but most require an undergraduate degree and submission of relevant test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
4. Is it necessary to have a background in outdoor recreation or natural resources to be admitted into a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program?
No, it is not necessary to have a background in outdoor recreation or natural resources to be admitted into a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program. However, relevant experience or coursework can be beneficial.
5. Is it possible to pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation online?
Yes, many universities offer online Masters in Outdoor Recreation programs.
6. What career opportunities are available to graduates of a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program?
Graduates of a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program can pursue careers in a variety of outdoor recreation and natural resources fields, including national parks, state parks, outdoor education, wilderness therapy, and outdoor recreation management.
7. Will I have to complete a thesis or dissertation in order to obtain a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Some schools require a thesis or dissertation for completion of the program, while others offer the option to complete a capstone project or other final project instead.
8. Are there opportunities for financial aid when pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Yes, many universities offer financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, and student loans.
9. Are there opportunities for hands-on experience while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Yes, many programs offer opportunities for hands-on experience through field trips, internships, and other practical experiences.
10. Can I specialize in a particular area of outdoor recreation while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Yes, many programs offer specializations depending on your interests, such as outdoor education, adventure therapy, natural resource management, or park and recreation management.
11. Will I have the opportunity to work with other students while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Yes, many programs offer opportunities for collaborative work with other students.
12. Is a Masters in Outdoor Recreation targeted specifically at those who enjoy the outdoors?
No, a Masters in Outdoor Recreation is designed for anyone interested in natural resources and outdoor recreation, regardless of their level of outdoor experience.
13. Will I need to have specialized gear or equipment while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
No, most Masters in Outdoor Recreation programs do not require specialized gear or equipment. However, practical experience in outdoor activities such as camping or hiking may be helpful.
14. How much does it cost to pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
The cost of a Masters in Outdoor Recreation can vary depending on the program and the school. Financial aid options are available to help students manage the cost of tuition.
15. Are there options for part-time study while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Yes, many programs offer part-time study options for the convenience of students who are working or have other obligations.
16. Will I be required to complete any fieldwork or research while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Many programs require completion of fieldwork or research as part of the curriculum.
17. Can a Masters in Outdoor Recreation be pursued on a campus or online?
Yes, many universities offer both online and on-campus options for pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation.
18. Will I be required to have basic outdoor skills such as camping or hiking to pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
No, it is not a prerequisite to have basic outdoor skills, although it may be helpful in some programs.
19. What is the typical class size for a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program?
The class size can vary depending on the school and the program.
20. Are there opportunities for study abroad while pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
Yes, some programs offer study abroad opportunities for students.
21. Will I need to have a specific undergraduate degree or area of expertise to pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
No, students with a variety of undergraduate degrees and areas of expertise can pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation.
22. Is it necessary to have experience working in natural resources or outdoor recreation to pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation?
No, it is not necessary to have experience working in natural resources or outdoor recreation to pursue a Masters in Outdoor Recreation.
23. Can a Masters in Outdoor Recreation lead to a career in teaching outdoor education?
Yes, graduates of a Masters in Outdoor Recreation program can pursue careers in outdoor education and teaching.
24. Can a Masters in Outdoor Recreation help me start my own outdoor recreation business?
Yes, a Masters in Outdoor Recreation can provide the knowledge and skills necessary for entrepreneurial ventures in outdoor recreation and natural resource management.
25. Will pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Recreation help me make a positive impact on the environment?
Yes, a Masters in Outdoor Recreation can provide opportunities to address environmental issues and work towards sustainable management practices in outdoor recreation and natural resources.
For those interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in outdoor recreation, check out masters-in-outdoor-recreation for more information
Hope to see You Later on Your Next Reading, Kind Reader
It’s been a pleasure sharing the world of outdoor recreation and the benefits of a Master’s degree in it. With the various job opportunities, benefits, scholar opportunities, and much more, we have seen the power of advancing our knowledge through education. We hope this article has inspired you to pursue your dreams and aspirations to the fullest. We appreciate your time and thank you for reading. Don’t forget to visit us again for the latest articles and information on various topics. Until next time, keep exploring the great outdoors and continue thirsting for knowledge.