Major Ideas for Outdoor Lovers


If you love the outdoors, you may be seeking a career option that keeps you moving and avoids the desk-based 9-to-5 schedule. Fortunately, colleges and universities in North Carolina offer several outdoor major programs that will help position you for careers in which you’ll have more opportunity to be outside and active.

Programs that are sought after by students who love being outside include:

Parks and Recreation Management

If you love spending time in nature, you might consider a major in parks and recreation management. This major can show you what it takes to keep the outdoor attractions you love pristine and safe for the wildlife that call them home, as well as for the people in the surrounding communities who enjoy visiting public outdoor spaces. Depending on your personal interests, you may study topics such as personnel management, facility management, grounds management, marketing and event planning, or sports and fitness.

Adventure Sports

This unique major teaches you how to lead amazing outdoor experiences in a variety of locales. By the end of it, you’ll be equipped to guide inexperienced guests through outdoor adventures and to teach them to appreciate nature in ways they might not have before. This major can be specialized or general, and can involve all kinds of outdoor recreation.

Outdoor or Recreational Therapy

Many people find outdoor activity to be incredibly peaceful, which makes it the perfect setting for many kinds of therapeutic treatments. Outdoor therapy is typically a graduate degree program under the umbrella of psychology, but the payoff is being able to use your natural environment to transform a patient’s therapy regimen. With proper training, helping patients see results and make breakthroughs can happen just as easily on a trail as they can in an office!

Tourism Studies

If you’re good at seeing the bigger picture, a major in tourism studies may be the right choice! You’ll learn how to spot trends in people’s outdoor activities when they visit or vacation in your area. This can inform programming for outdoor recreation facilities and help towns discover new ways to increase stewardship of the land. Tourism is a fiscal benefit, so it is in a town’s interest to make tourism a key part of their infrastructure and regional planning!

A college degree doesn’t have to automatically lead to an office job! There are a variety of careers that allow students to embrace the outdoors and step away from their desks. If you’re still undecided, explore all the outdoor major possibilities available by using our College Search and Explore Programs and Majors t