Photo Courtesy: Jan-Joost Verhoef
The green industry is a great one to get into for graduates. It’s a growth area and likely to have significant public and private funding over the years as more aligned industries emerge and define their businesses. The sector is broad and offers an exciting range of opportunities for graduates seeking intellectually stimulating, rewarding and often challenging roles with great career prospects.
The green sector is also incredibly broad, encompassing areas such as Eco-friendly construction industries, bio-chemicals, alternative energies, conservation and ecology, sustainability and education.
How Do I Secure a Job in the Green Industry?
As the world begins to take climate change and global warming seriously, more and more attention is turning towards sustainability in our businesses and private lives. This covers everything from recycling through to low-impact farming methods. So the scope for employment is huge.
The industry is particularly concerned with social and ecological issues and this will suit Generation Y recent graduates, who grew up with fundamentally different values to their reward-seeking Gen X predecessors. Generation Y graduates seek meaning as much as compensation, although many of the careers in this green industry can be lucrative and well paid, particularly in the specialist science and consultancy fields. There are also plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to make their own mark.
Qualifications and Experience
Choosing a degree which is aligned to the green sector is ideal. This might be environmental studies or geography, conservation, sustainability, third-sector studies and volunteering, community support or alternative energies. Alternatively, choose a good traditional degree such as engineering or architecture but focus your studies strongly on the ‘green’ elements and modules.
Look for work experience as well. Some roles, such as carbon-efficiency consultants may find that more specialist and vocational training is involved on the job, or they can qualify through working their way up the ranks after initial work experience. Don’t be too proud to accept unpaid or voluntary work to manoeuvre yourself into a rewarding position.
Remember too that there are more ways to get the job you want than simply applying for a vacancy. Use social media to engage with your future employer and demonstrate your knowledge by blogging and becoming active on the networking scene. Meet the right people, talk about your ambitions and demonstrate your knowledge, passion and commitment. Ask your university about getting involved with research projects in the field or even working to commission one. Research can be a great way to get your name heard, particularly in published papers.
Sign up to job alerts and look for volunteering opportunities abroad if you really want to expand your horizons. Consider taking an alternative route to the job you really want by finding another way into your chosen company. Green businesses still need traditional support roles and functions to operate and once you’re in, it may be easier to retrain with the company’s support as you move across teams towards your chosen role.
Career planning definitely benefits from the strategic approach. And remember, if all else fails, you can start small and do it yourself with your own business. There are plenty of start-up options and emerging franchises in the green sector, many of them in the consumer market, which is another good area to research and consider.
Francesca is a UK-based freelance writer with a passion for travel. She enjoys writing about everything, from careers and business, to travel and food. She currently writes on behalf of En Spiral.