I would say follow your interests and strengths, but do not shy away from subjects that may feel less appealing, and give yourself as much exposure as you can to the environmental science field. As for the newness of the degree in conservation biology, it may be a new degree for your school, but it is not a new subject to the field and has been practiced for a very long time. Its wonderful that institutions like yours are now merging degrees and courses to better align with the potential positions students may find after university, but it is not a guarantee you'll receive a "Conservation biologist" position.
Basically, as long as you stick to a Bachelor of Science in the Environmental Science field (which conservation and/or wildlife biology fall under) it's the FIRST STEP for setting yourself up for success post university in the Environmental Science world. Here are the other potential steps if you're interested:
Maura recommends the following next steps:
- 2. Internships - Someone earlier mentioned internships, and I whole heatedly agree this is the best way to really help you figure out what you like and where you shine. One of the greatest determinations with the environmental sciences is figuring out whether or not field work is a good fit for you. Some people flourish in the field and can't get enough bad weather, hairy terrain, and feeling hungry. Others find out they excel in the research, policy or social development side of the field instead. Then others thrive in both sides of the field. So, why not try it all?! If you can, take every summer to try a different technician job in different locations. If your means are limited, there are many summer jobs that come with housing and provide work transportation . Check out the Texas A&M Environmental job board, it's my go to.
- 3. Double Up Majors - I understand this also may not be as easy as it sounds, with funding, school policies, etc. potentially making this a challenge. However, if you truly love both wildlife biology and conservation biology, it might be worth the sacrifice of one more semester or year of school to major in both. More likely than not you will probably want to consider continued education post your Bachelor's, but if you really love learning and want another advantage in the job market or as a masters/PhD candidate, your love for learning (coupled with internships) may give you a strong advantage.
- 4. Outdoor Recreation - Not knowing your regular activities, this too might be a good way to help narrow in what you really care about by spending more time outside. Try skiing - maybe you get to love snow so much you can't bear the thought of no snow in the winter due to climate change. Mountain Biking - it's a fast and endearingly dirty sport and it has a lot to do with great landscapes and views-capes. Fly fishing - this is all about water, water quality, watershed health, and so much more. Whatever you find you love to do the most outdoors, may be your guiding light. And it's never too late to start a new sport, I learned to ski when I was 22 and can not get enough of it. It's just all about getting outside.