Welcome to the Grad Corner!
As you progress through your undergraduate degree and toward graduation, you will be thinking about what you will do after commencement, be it graduate school, or starting on your career path. Provided here is some information on graduate schools and career fields that highlight opportunities that align with your Sustainability Studies Bachelors degree. You will also find links and information about "green jobs" and related opportunities and and companies who are looking for candidates with your specific qualifications.
As we all know, the national and global economic climate is tightening, challenging
students who will be applying for graduate schools and jobs. You are well positioned
to highlight your exceptional skill set that you have acquired in the Sustainability
Studies Program and have the solid foundation to enter careers that will only gain
traction and importance in the coming years as awareness for the need of sustainable
practices and addressing environmental issues grows. We wish you much success in the
next step of your journey.
-- The Sustainability Studies Program
Green Careers: The Direction of Jobs and the Economy in the Present and Future
Our society is rapidly adapting to the new realities of an interconnected world that faces environmental challenges, population growth, and dwindling non-renewable resources. New careers have emerged and others have been redefined in the context of these new challenges. Careers focusing on conservation of ecosystems and their biodiversity, working with industry on the implementation of alternative energy resources, designing and building greener communities, and developing new policies and incentives for consumers to make greener choices are just a few examples of career paths that are seeing rapid growth and expansion. Green job salaries will be competitive with those in other areas of the economy and higher in areas of greater demand.
Minimizing the use of resources while lowering cost is an important incentive for businesses, all levels of government, and individuals to innovate and operate more sustainably. To achieve this, there is a need for skilled analysts, consultants, educators, advocates, planners, and policy makers. Many of these jobs did not exist several years ago and this “green” sector of the economy is expected to continue to grow. For example, the Federal government estimates that occupations in clean energy and sustainability will grow by an impressive 52% between 2000 and 2016. By contrast, other careers are projected to see an increase of only 14% in this same time period.
Green Biz.com “Jobs in clean energy jumped 18% last year”
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Clean energy employed more than 7.7 million people across the world last year, according to figures published today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The number, which covers people employed directly by renewable energy firms and throughout the supply chain, marks an 18 percent rise on the 6.5 million jobs recorded in 2013 — an increase that coincides with global renewable energy investment reversing two years of decline last year.
The report confirms solar PV remains the largest renewable energy employer, with 2.5 million jobs worldwide, up from 2.3 million last year. Meanwhile, the number of people employed in the liquid biofuels sector totaled 1.8 million and wind power passed the million job mark last year, up from 834,000 in 2013.
Similarly, the biomass industry now employs 822,000 people and solar heating and cooling completes the top five with 764,000 jobs, although the sector saw a 16 percent decline in employment compared with the previous year as the solar thermal sector continued to struggle to match the success of the PV industry.
The report also noted that a further 1.5 million people, about half of whom are found in China, are estimated to work on large hydropower projects and are not included in the 7.7 million total.
"Renewable energy continues to assert itself as a major global employer, generating strong economic and social benefits worldwide," said IRENA director general Adnan Z Amin.
"This increase is being driven in part by declining renewable energy technology costs, which creates more jobs in installation, operations and maintenance. We expect this upward trend to continue as the business case for renewable energy continues to strengthen."
Asia is one area IRENA identifies as set for significant growth in green energy as manufacturing continues to shift from North America and Europe. While China leads the way with 3.4 million jobs, its Asian neighbors India, Indonesia, Japan and Bangladesh also feature in the top 10 countries for green energy jobs.
The Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institute recently published this report by Mark Muro, Jonathan Rothwell, Devashree Saha, with Battele Technology Partnership Practice, highlighting the importance and growth in the clean economy sector. Some highlights are:
- The clean economy, which employs some 2.7 million workers, encompasses a significant number of jobs in establishments spread across a diverse group of industries.
- Most of the country’s clean economy jobs and recent growth concentrate within the largest metropolitan areas.
- The clean economy is manufacturing and export intensive. The electric vehicles (EV), green chemical products, and lighting segments are all especially manufacturing intensive while the biofuels, green chemicals, and EV industries are highly export intensive.
- The clean economy grew more slowly in aggregate than the national economy between 2003 and 2010, but newer “clean-tech” segments produced explosive job gains and the clean economy outperformed the nation during the recession.
- The clean economy matters because its emergence responds to critical global and national environmental, security, and economic trends.
There is a growing body of data in this area and detailed information can be found at: http://www.bls.gov/green/home.htm.
Looking at Careers in the Future, Green Growth in the Job Market
Los Angeles Times: March 19, 2013
Green jobs grow four times faster than others
WASHINGTON -- Clean-energy jobs make up a small part of U.S. employment, but a new federal report shows they are growing much faster than other work, even healthcare.
The nation had about 3.4 million green energy jobs in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS) said Tuesday in its second annual and final look at this emerging category of
In all, so-called green jobs accounted for just 2.6% of all employment that year, but a comparison with 2010 data shows that these jobs grew at four times the rate of all the others combined. Green employment jumped 4.9% in 2011 from the prior year. That compares with a gain of 1.2% for all jobs and 2.7% for restaurants, 1.7% for manufacturing and 1.8% for healthcare, which is often seen as the fastest-growing sector.
Green jobs of course cut across industries. By the BLS definition, they include work
that is primarily involved in the production of green goods and services -- for instance,
renewable energy, pollution reduction and recycling, and natural resources conservation.
The agency also counts as green those jobs that involve education and training related
to environmental compliance.
800,000 New Global Green Jobs in 2013
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates 800,000 new green jobs were created in 2013, boosting the overall number of workers employed in the clean energy economy from 5.7 million in 2012 to 6.5 million at the end of 2013.
In order, the largest concentrations of green jobs were in China, Brazil, America, India, and Germany, with other noteworthy employment numbers in Spain and Bangladesh. IRENA cites these rankings as evidence of a regional clean energy economic shift away from the traditional leaders in developed nations toward emerging markets where energy poverty and growing demand must be addressed by policymakers.
As with most things energy-related, China is the world’s clear leader in green jobs, spurred largely by a boom in solar manufacturing and installation. The country currently has over 2.6 million green jobs, and 13 gigawatts (GW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in 2013 combined with 64% of global PV module manufacturing capacity helped employ 1.6 million workers last year – roughly a five-fold increase compared to 2011.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization
that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves
as the principal platform for international co-operation, a center of excellence,
and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable
energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of
renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind
energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security
and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.
Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institute: By Mark Muro, Jonathan Rothwell, Devashree Saha, with Battele Technology Partnership Practice
- The clean economy, which employs some 2.7 million workers, encompasses a significant
number of jobs in establishments spread across a diverse group of industries.
- Most of the country’s clean economy jobs and recent growth concentrate within the largest metropolitan areas.
- The clean economy is manufacturing and export intensive. The electric vehicles (EV),
green chemical products, and lighting segments are all especially manufacturing intensive
while the biofuels, green chemicals, and EV industries are highly export intensive.
- The clean economy grew more slowly in aggregate than the national economy between
2003 and 2010, but newer “clean-tech” segments produced explosive job gains and the
clean economy outperformed the nation during the recession.
- The clean economy matters because its emergence responds to critical global and national
environmental, security, and economic trends.
Some specific examples of “green” and sustainable career opportunities are:
- Town /County/ State Planning and Land Use Environmental Consulting
- Green Marketing Representative Preservation & Stewardship Manager
- Green Architecture and Construction Renewable and Alternative Energy
- Environmental Education Energy and Efficiency Auditors
- Eco-Tourism and Travel Recycling and Waste Reduction
- Governmental and Regulatory Administration Innovation and International Aid
- Ecosystem and Ecological Restoration Natural Resource Management
- Non- Profit Advocacy Organizations Public Policy & Health
- Environmental media and film education
- Community Advocacy and Planning
Some of our recent graduates have gone on to attend the following graduate schools!
From the Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning Major:
From the Coastal Environmental Studies Major:
From the Environmental Humanities Major:
From the Ecosystems and Human Impact Major:
From the Sustainability Studies Major:
Please click on this link to read a personal true story on thinking about grad school, work, and career.
Here are some grad schools offering programs in sustainability areas:
New MS in Sustainable Energy at SUNY Cortland - click here for details
New Grad Certificate in Env. Management at SBU www.stonybrook.edu/spd/graduate/environmental.html
New York Times article, 1-16-15, 2014 Was Hottest Year on Record, Surpassing 2010, click here to read the story.
BLS Data on Green Jobs : The green career articles include information from sources outside of BLS and are cited accordingly. BLS data on green jobs are available through three surveys:
The Green Technologies and Practices survey asked approximately 35,000 business establishments about their use of green technologies and practices and the occupations of workers who spend more than half of their time involved in green technologies and practices.
The Green Goods and Services industry component includes approximately 120,000 business and government establishments that produce any goods or services. The survey provides estimates of the number of jobs in each industry that are associated with the production of green goods and services.
The Green Goods and Services Occupations (GGS-OCC) program provides occupational employment and wage information for businesses
that produce green goods and services. The GGS-OCC data consist of occupational employment,
staffing patterns, and occupational wages.
Articles and links about Sustainability: