Benefits of graduates: The making of a new profession
“What are the professional opportunities for a Master of Science in Protected Areas?”, potential participants ask.
To Prof. Getzner, member of the scientific executive board, the situation is clear: “Before establishing the programme at the University of Klagenfurt, we examined the potential labour market for our graduates. Based on an inquiry and interviews we estimate that the demand will go up to some 4.000 jobs in the next few years in the area of Middle and Eastern Europe alone.”
For instance, designated Natura 2000 sites in Europe have tripled since 1996, in only some ten years. On a global perspective, numbers of sites, acreage of sites and categories of sites have increased continuously. This leads to an increasing demand for highly skilled and highly motivated personalities.
Graduates shall not only benefit substantially in their carriers, but furthermore shall be able to hold on to a wide network of experts and colleagues. The future of the MSc graduates is to be seen in:
- Individual park administrations
- Regional / national administrative bodies (e.g. ministries)
- Planning and consulting companies
- National and international NGOs, networks and conventions
The benefits for professionals are evident. But also the employers shall benefit, since the knowledge acquired is not only beneficial for biodiversity, but also for the efficiency and quality of the organisation as well as of communication processes. What had to be learned in a long-term process of “training in the job” is now subject to a professional and effective education and training programme with regards to international standards.
International interest of participants
More than 1.000 hits on the homepage and many requests prove a high interest in participation. Serious requests for information and details of the course have not only been provided to potential participants all over Europe, but also to interested professionals in countries as USA, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Thailand. Particularly for international students, financial support by grants from the Republic of Austria is available, and the regional government of Carinthia has committed itself to supporting participants from Eastern Europe.