Parks and Recreation Associate Degree
Local, state, and national park systems were designed to preserve our rich natural heritage for this and future generations. Ensuring that visitors can interact with and learn about these environments requires trained and skilled professionals with a deep understanding of conservation, public policy, ecosystems, environmental science, and hospitality. While seasonal workers can usually work in the parks and recreation industry with little or no training, many organizations prefer to hire those with associate degrees or higher for full-time positions.
What Can a Parks and Recreation Associate Degree Teach You?
There are actually countless jobs within the larger parks and recreation field, but in most cases, your training focuses on various aspects of hospitality, safety, first aid, survival skills, and ecology. If you plan on working in urban areas, you might need additional coursework in landscaping and law enforcement. If you want to work in larger parks, then forestry, soil erosion, biology, botany, and other life sciences might be more important. Many students also complete coursework in grant writing, funding, and public policy since parks are often subsidized by tax dollars and donations. And still others focus on education, camp counseling, and youth leadership.
What Can You Do with a Parks and Recreation Associate Degree?
Playgrounds, summer camps, nature preserves, city parks, and even cruise ships account for most of the available jobs. Working in administrative or supervisory positions, your associate training prepares you to interact with campers, hikers, youth groups, and tourists who might have any number of questions concerning park regulations and wildlife. Be prepared to also interact with policymakers, landscapers, natural scientists, and urban planners as they explore ways in which to make parks and recreation activities more accessible and user-friendly for the general public.
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