Careers in Sustainability

Sustainability is the study of the natural environment and resources and how we can use and preserve them to last longer and be more efficient. Those who study sustainability can pursue a career in sustainable business consulting, analyzing business practices and identifying the plans and strategies needed to help companies improve resource management, enhance green practices, and increase profitability. In 2010, these types of management analysts earned a median average salary of $78,160 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Employment in this area is expected to grow 22% from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than average for all types of occupations, as more and more organizations have a need to improve their efficiency and control costs, the BLS reported. In addition, the BLS noted that firms are expected to hire consultants who specialize in the implementation of “green” initiatives or lowering energy consumption. However, keep in mind that these numbers are only projections and averages, and therefore not actual guarantees of salary or employment.

Required Education for Sustainability

A bachelor’s degree or higher is required to pursue a career in sustainability. Students who study sustainability learn about the earth’s natural resources, ways we can take advantage of them, and how to preserve them for generations to come. Combining disciplines like sciences, social sciences, and humanities, students graduate with a solid understanding of ethics, conservation, and green practices.

Courses are typically taken in ecology, natural resources, landscape architecture, urban planning, sociology, economics, and anthropology. Those who wish to go into business consulting may also want to minor or take some courses in business like managerial economics, business policy, strategic management, business law, and business communications.

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