Green careers are red hot — New degree helps students prepare for sustainability jobs

Published: November 18th, 2008

Category: In Focus

Environmentalists aren’t the only ones with “green jobs” anymore.

Green or sustainability jobs, in which professionals work to solve problems like energy use and urbanization, are popping up in practically every business, government and nonprofit sector — under job titles such as sustainability officer, sustainable design professional, resource manager and energy engineer.

Apart from those in the energy sector, the sustainability jobs in highest demand lie in the design and construction industries — where sustainable action can be a part of the organization’s main business function.
Environmental design and green interior design are cited among Kaplan’s recent 10 hot green careers list, and U.S. News and World Report has chosen architects and construction managers as careers with bright futures.
To meet the demand for “green skills,” the University of Florida has created the Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment in the College of Design, Construction and Planning.

“We are delighted to be able to offer this innovative degree program at a time when the need for sustainable solutions to land use, housing and urban infrastructure is so evident. Our degree program is flexible yet substantive, and will prepare students for very interesting careers,” said Peggy Carr, the college’s associate dean for undergraduate students and academic affairs. The college also offers five graduate certificate programs in sustainability.

In addition to the bachelor’s degree, UF recently added an undergraduate sustainability minor and a post-juris doctor degree in environmental and land-use law.

As the high demand for green jobs illustrates, sustainability is becoming a standard business practice across industries. The Green Building Certification Institute reports that approximately 63,000 builders and designers already have earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) professional accreditation.
Maybe in the future, all jobs will be green jobs.

10 Hot Sustainability Jobs
(U.S. News and World Report, October 2008)
• Agriculture of forestry supervisors
• Architects
• Construction managers
• Consultants
• Social responsibility officers
• Database specialists
• Engineers
• Electricians
• Scientific researchers
• Transportation supervisors and dispatchers

10 Hot Green Careers
(Kaplan College Guide 2009, August 2008)
• Environmental conservation
• Environmental design
• Environmental engineering
• Environmental science
• Geothermal development
• Green interior design
• Hydrology
• Organic agriculture
• Solar energy engineering
• Transportation systems planning

Credits

Writer
Kaitlin O’Farrill

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