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Green Degrees Lead to Green Jobs
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Green Degrees Lead to Green Jobs

Date Added: September 01, 2009 11:19:08 AM
Author:
Category: Business & Economy: Employment and Work
 
Green has become the buzzword for all things environmental of a positive nature. Fuel efficient, particularly hybrid, cars are green. Solar and wind energy are green. And pretty much any process that conserves resources is green. So too are the fields of study that focus on these areas. These are the green degrees. More and more universities are offering undergraduate majors, graduate degrees, and special certificates in environmental studies, and both school officials and business analysts say these courses of study will place their students in the most promising career paths of the future. In the past we thought of people that studied the environment as working for only a handful of organizations, mostly governmental, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forrest Service, or the Bureau of Land Management. But today we are seeing the need for personnel trained in environmental concerns, people with green degrees, in almost every kind of business venture. When it comes to alternative, or renewable energy, virtually every business that has a physical plant stands to benefit. Even businesses like financial concerns, law firms, or insurance agencies that aren't directly involved in energy production can reduce their operating expenses by turning to "off-the-grid" energy sources such as solar, wind, or geo-thermal energy. Whether these businesses hire environmental specialists themselves or engage contractors, the need for those with green degrees will increase. Public policy, both governmental and in private corporations compliance with government regulations, will demand people with the ability to analyze long term goals and incorporate them into what is being called triple bottom line accounting. This new method of business management is also called people, planet, profit, and put simply it means that profit should be measured against its negative effects on the environment. No longer will profit be measured solely by quantity but rather by how long in number of years that profit can be sustained. This area of study will be especially valuable to those entering careers in industries dealing with non-renewable resources like petroleum and coal. The new uses for the green degree won't be only by people engaged in long-term abstract thinking. It will touch our everyday lives. Few things affect our everyday lives as much as our municipal governments, and it is within municipal governments that analysts predict that the greatest demand for personnel with green degrees will arise. Conservation is the key word when thinking of local governments. Local governments are often in charge of what we use and what we throw away. Every bit of renewable energy our municipal governments can use will save us tax revenues. Better waste management ensures a healthier future. And water conservation gives us insurance against drought. Already some universities are offering green degrees that have an emphasis on the needs of local government. We already know that green means environmentally friendly. But if what appears to be a trend in both education and industry continues, when we say green degree, we might also be referring to the dollar and the paycheck.
 
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