Undergrad in need of direction.
I’ll try my best to keep this brief as I know this sub gets a lot of these type of inquiries.
I’m a senior in Wildlife Management and Conservation, minoring in Biology, but have 4 semesters left of college, including this one. So I’m past the point of changing majors. So far my GPA is above 3.5, I work in an insect lab pinning and ID-ing, have had a summer technical job collecting data on plants, and am working on an independent research project dealing with aquatic invertebrates and invasive plants. I’ve made some connections that should be good resume references, and a professor who told me they’d write me a good letter of recommendation when the time comes.
I always had a passion for ecology, nature, and wildlife and am especially interested in insects, plants, and restoration. But the further along I get, the more terrified I become that I won’t be able to land a stable job with a livable income focusing on these themes. I worry that my experience is lacking.
My main question is which organism or ecological concept should I focus my next independent research on to help make me employable? I am allowed 2 faculty-advised reseach projects in my program and I want to make sure I make the best choice. Most permanent jobs related to my field I see posted online tend to deal with forest management or GIS. I could probably do a GIS project, but unfortunately my college doesn’t have a forestry or any foresters in their faculty. Other options that fit with my department faculty’s expertise include birds or mammals. I think I could also do a project with a member of the Geography or Geology department’s faculty.
At this point I’m not sure grad school is an option due to burnout and my age (I’ll be 28 at graduation,) and I just want to get my career/life started and get out of the acedemia world. Maybe if I find a master’s program in the future that I think will help me professionally I may consider it, but my main concern at this point is employability.
TL;DR How can I make the most of my last 4 semesters to make myself as employable as possible? Thank you in advance for reading and for any advice.