Written by Haley Zerobnick, ESLLC 2017-2018
As college students, it is impossible to know what the next step in life may be. Many college students, myself included, pick a topic of study that has the greatest possibility of job opportunities after graduation, as well as being a topic that seems somewhat intriguing. When people think of “sustainability” they associate it with recycling, composting, and other everyday tasks that don’t necessarily include a career. I, myself have been asked several times what I plan on doing with a science degree, to which I have no answer… yet. Although science is an extremely broad subject, the specific branch of science that is most underrated in the job market would have to be environmental science.
Many people have no clue what sustainability means and then again, many people don’t even believe that climate change exists. Therefore, these people probably think that environmental science is a useless degree. These people are wrong. The amount of opportunity in sustainable jobs has exponentially increased with the demand for more environmentally friendly ways of life. The use of solar and wind energy is increasing “12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy” and will continue to grow as fossil fuels become scarcer and more people start to realize the detrimental effects they have on our Earth (Varinsky). Jobs in renewable energy have a rate of growth of about 6% from 2012-2015 while the job market in fossil fuels has had a decline of 4.5% in the same time period (Varinsky). This gap in jobs will continue to widen.
Renewable energy isn’t the only sustainable job market. Other jobs include environmental engineers, urban farmers, water quality testers, and even environmental lawyers. All of these jobs will continue to become more and more important as the population increases and more demands need to be met for food and clean water (Roth). Not only are sustainable jobs good for the environment, they are also good for the economy. Less resources and more renewable, long lasting options help to ultimately cut costs for companies and corporations and make products cheaper for consumers. College students are the next generation of innovators, business owners, and corporation CEOs and it will be important to keep sustainability in mind for the future. The final takeaway is when people ask you what you want to do with your science degree, you can tell them that you have a world of possibilities.
*I chose a picture of the members of the ESLLC because we all have huge opportunities ahead of us and we all want to make sustainability an aspect of our lives now, and into the future.
Varinsky, Dana. “Solar-Energy Jobs Are Growing 12 Times as Fast as the US Economy.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Jan. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/solar-energy-job-growth-2017-1.
Roth, Jessica. “Top Green Jobs of The Future.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/top-green-jobs-of-the-future_us_59ef5fe2e4b03535fa942057.