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Towards a greener future: 7 great degrees for careers in green technology

Careers in green technology are not just ways of living out a commitment to a more sustainable planet. They can also be a way to take advantage of an emerging industry. In short, careers in green technology offer you the opportunity to help yourself and serve the world around you at the same time. Often, these careers require specialized training, which is where degrees in green technology come in.

  1. BS in environmental science. This can be one of the most hands-on types of clean tech degrees, teaching you scientific skills you can use to detect and solve environmental problems. This type of work offers many employment opportunities with federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as jobs in both the private sector and academia.
  2. MS in management--sustainable management. Not all careers in green technology have to be of a scientific nature. As clean and sustainable operations become a priority across many industries, managers with the knowledge to implement environmentally-friendly policies should be in growing demand.
  3. BS in environmental policy and management. Compliance with environmental regulations is another growing business issue. A background in environmental policy and management can qualify you for a job helping a company stay within compliance, or for a position with a government agency implementing regulations.
  4. BA in political science. Speaking of environmental regulations, a degree in political science, especially if you augment it with some environmental science and policy course work, can prepare you for a career as an advocate for environmental causes, helping to shape public policy towards a greener way of life.
  5. JD in environmental law. Inevitably, once laws are on the books, they will find themselves the subjects of court cases. A law degree with an emphasis on environmental law can position you to prosecute or defend civil and criminal cases involving those laws.
  6. BS in petroleum engineering. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, petroleum engineers are among the highest-paid types of engineers. The Biotechnology Industry Association notes there are over 50 biorefineries being built in North America to produce biofuels and other compounds for a cleaner and more sustainable fuel supply.
  7. MS in atmospheric science. There is no doubt that climate change should continue to be a subject for debate and study in the years ahead. From monitoring pollution to forecasting changes in weather patterns, atmospheric scientists certainly should be central players in this debate. An MS in atmospheric science is one of the clean tech degrees that has applications in local communities across the country--and around the world.

There are plenty of college programs which provides opportunities to develop skills necessary to succeed in the green technology field.

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  • Simmons College Master of Public Health

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