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Learn about water with online courses and programs

Explore the lifeblood of this planet, from biological applications to conservation methods that address global issues. Learn about water with edX.
Water | Introduction Image

Why study water?

Water serves as the foundation of life on Earth. Learning about this essential resource is crucial for addressing environmental, societal, and economic challenges in an increasingly water-conscious world.

For example, understanding water’s properties and functions in biology is important for grasping the fundamental mechanisms of life, from cellular processes to the role of water in sustaining ecosystems. It also plays a critical role in regulating Earth's climate. Learning about water's capacity to store and redistribute heat helps experts comprehend climate patterns. As a finite and vulnerable resource, studying water is essential for managing its availability, quality, and equitable distribution, especially in the face of growing water scarcity and pollution concerns. 

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Water course curriculum

The specific curriculum of a course will depend heavily on the broader field you are studying. Learning about water is relevant to a wide range of subjects and disciplines due to its fundamental importance in various aspects of science, engineering, and society. For example, you could learn about water in fields such as:

  • Environmental science: Water plays a central role in ecosystems, climate, and natural resource management.

  • Agriculture: This field relies on water for irrigation, and understanding water management is vital for sustainable farming practices.

  • Geology: Geologists study the movement and storage of water in Earth's subsurface, known as groundwater, as well as its influence on geological processes.

  • Public health: Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is a critical public health concern, making water quality and safety relevant in this field.

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics including water, environmental science, and much more. ‌Sign up for an accelerated boot camp, or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree, or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education courses specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs related to water

Due to the critical role water plays in human life, learning about it opens up an array of career opportunities across sectors. Some careers individuals can pursue with expertise in water and its properties include:

  • Hydrologist: Studies water distribution, movement, and quality, analyzing data to manage and conserve water resources.

  • Environmental scientist: Assesses the impact of human activities on water quality and ecosystems, helping to develop strategies for environmental protection.

  • Climate scientist: Studies the relationship between climate change and water resources, helping to plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate variability.

  • Water treatment plant operator: Manages the processes that clean and treat water to make it safe for drinking and industrial use.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in biology depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue, and align your coursework with your career goals.