The sustainability industry is an enormous field that is currently the fastest-growing market in the world. And considering the positive impact this rapidly-growing industry has made on the planet, there is no reason to not look for a job in the climate change domain.
In the midst of a climate crisis, with record global average temperatures, the demand for climate change domain professionals has never been more urgent, and jobs will only grow in the coming years. In this post, we will take a look at the relevance of climate change careers to any field, and discuss some sustainability-related skills that can be applied to a number of industries.
Climate change skills are relevant to practically every field. It truly is never too late in your profession to develop sustainability-related skills and knowledge for your career; even with a degree, there are many sustainability-related skills you can learn now to apply to your field.
As climate change is an interdisciplinary problem, meaning it affects nearly all areas of life, sustainability can be applied to virtually any field. In order to survive and benefit in economic gains, companies and businesses require some aspect of environmental sustainability to be incorporated.
From agriculture to fashion to electric cars, the interdisciplinarity of climate change means that there is no shortage of opportunities for professionals interested in taking their career in a more environmentally-focused direction.
Climate change literacy, an essential part of a climate change education, is a general knowledge that provides the basis for specific industry skills. Climate literacy is defined as an understanding of society’s influence on climate and climate’s influence on society. It involves a scientific understanding of the principles of the planet’s climate system, as well as the ability to critically evaluate scientifically credible information about the climate.
More likely, the job skills that will benefit you the most are the knowledge specific to your industry or profession. There are many fields that have available certifications to give you a leg up in specific careers. The following categories of industry examples have many overlaps, but provide a general look at how climate change can be worked into each field.
Green Technology includes clean energy and environmental engineering. Within this wide field, there are many available certificate programs that will certify you in sustainable applications to your field. Programs such as the Renewable Energy Specialist Certification and Sustainability Specialist Certifications are just a couple of the available green technology certifications out there.
For example, if you have a degree in electrical engineering, a certificate in electric vehicle technology will increase your chances of being hired by an electric car company.
Similarly, Sustainable Materials includes branches such as packaging, fashion, and more.
Within packaging and manufacturing, there are numerous opportunities to incorporate sustainable practices. Sustainable packaging, for instance, analyzes the whole supply chain and life cycle of the product for opportunities to reduce the ecological footprint. Of course, a core part of sustainable materials is minimal packaging, along with the use of recycled, biodegradable, and compostable materials. Sustainable use and management of natural resources is a vital aspect of this industry, as many businesses need to ensure that resources are available long term without compromising the needs of future generations. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition offers online and onsite training courses that can aid in finding a job in this area.
Sustainability Governance is a broad sector that involves city planning and infrastructure. More specifically, this can entail transport, tourism, architecture, agriculture, and waste management, and more. In this sector, training in sustainable management planning is vital. Skills that will allow you to apply sustainability to your field include environmental policy analysis and an understanding of environmental impact assessments.
For example, within architecture, sustainability mostly refers to building technology, especially the energy efficiency of the building, as well as the sustainable sourcing and use of materials and space. There is also a lot of recent focus on ecological design, which emphasizes how the building fits into its surrounding environment and seeks to minimize its negative impact on the natural space. Familiarity with specialized certifications such as Energy Star and LEED (both buildings and people can be LEED-Certified) will help you take your career in a more sustainable direction.
As you can see, sustainability can and should be incorporated into a plethora of industries. As time progresses, climate change jobs will only grow in relevancy and demand, and progressing on our collective climate change goals will require finding sustainable solutions in every field. With these industry-specific skills, you can join millions of professionals around the world working to fight climate change. The growing need for climate solutions shows no signs of slowing, so we must rise to the challenge with green transitions and sustainable practices from all industries.