Sustainability Degrees Mean Green Careers for College Students
It’s a growing trend amongst college students – sustainability degrees. As the environment continues to be a pressing concern for all generations, Generations Y and Z are in a prime position to make their career paths greener than most.
With an increase in popularity of “green collar” jobs, colleges and universities are broadening their degree offerings to include those that focus on sustainability – including MBAs in sustainable business practices and technical training.
Demand for graduates from these degree programs continues to grow as interest in studying sustainability grows. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved – the universities, the students, and the businesses.
In May, Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability graduated its first class. Students can study a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science in sustainability, or earn a master’s degree. In the first year the program was offered, 300 students enrolled.
The University of Pennsylvania offers students the opportunity to earn their MBA and master’s in environmental studies simultaneously.
“Our take is you really need to have the science background and some other approaches that are not normally taught in the business school context,” says Eric Orts, director of the Wharton School’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Penn.
Harvard’s Graduate School of Design now offers its architechtural students the opportunity to study sustainable design, as the demand continues to increase for energy-efficient buildings and homes.
And lending support to Obama’s Community College campaign, sustainability courses are being offered in these institutions as well. People who are looking for a career change, or to gain additional education, might consider these “green” careers. For instance, at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan, students can train to operate wind turbines in a 26-week course, a response to the demand that wind farms have for skilled technicians.
Other green colleges and universities where you’ll find sustainable degree programs include:
- Stanford University
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- University of California at Berkeley
- Johns Hopkins University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
- Cornell University
- Carnegie Mellon University