Published on September 24th, 2013 | by KateSimmons


Why Our Education System Needs To Be Greener

With environmental impact awareness on the rise practically everywhere, there is an increasingly urgent need for those seeking employment in the job market to respond. Traditional education models are not equipping people with the skills they need for these jobs in green industries.

Thus, the responsibility is falling more and more on the individual to seek out specialized training and education to get an edge in the current job market. Why is it worth it to invest your time, money, and energy in training for this increasingly green economy? With the number of people soon retiring from the workforce, in combination with the growing amount of green career training programs popping up across the country, the job market is suddenly full of new opportunities. Take a look at the following green job prospects and the paths to get there. Then decide for yourself.

What is a Green Job?

A green job is technically any that supports environmental and social responsibility, but there are some booming, niche industries. For example, in the fields of water (delivery, management, and conservation), wasted management (e.g. composting, electronic waste, recycling, etc.), energy (e.g. biofuels, hydro-electricity, solar, and wind), public transportation, food systems, and green building (construction, deconstruction, and landscaping) there are many positions available with higher-than-average salaries and significant job security. There is less of a chance of these highly specialized jobs being outsourced overseas because it remains more cost effective to produce energy locally as it can be difficult to transport across the globe.

Exciting Opportunities

Examples of pathways to the green career ladder includes positions like Recycling Representative. Such a role will earn you around $60,000 per year and involve negotiating relationships with diverse clients. Recycling representatives are responsible for negotiating the sales of collected recyclable to industries that with reuse the materials.  There’s a lot of potential to advance within the recycling industry, either within the local or municipal cadre or in the private sector.

Project management skills seem to always be in demand, and the green energy field is no exception. There are opportunities as a project manager to oversea anything from residential weatherization projects to utility-scale solar energy farm projects. In order to make yourself competitive for such project manager positions, you will have to convey to the employer that you can adapt to an ever-changing environment while performing multiple tasks simultaneously and have a solid technical aptitude.

How to Get the Training?

Although there are certainly more opportunities in the green market than in many other fields, it is still a highly competitive job market and it just makes sense to take advantage of green job-training initiatives to make yourself more marketable. Take a look at a directory of environmental service providers, like this one by commonground, to check out what exactly are the technical skill requirements for your desired entry point into the your dream green job. Some courses are often offered by local government or at local community colleges. For those seeking more flexibility in their learning experience and more advanced skills, there are all kinds of online training programs available.

To learn more about educational and job opportunities in the green market, keep an eye on online social media, which is where many employers outreach for potential candidates, and consider putting yourself out there for in-person networking at your area’s upcoming eco-themed event or conference. In no time, you’ll have a better understanding of what skills you’ll need to build to get your foot in that green door.

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About the Author

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger. If her articles got you interested, feel free to follow or reach out to her via G+ or Twitter.

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