Green majors are being offered by not only major universities, but many smaller online programs as well. From the Ivy League to community colleges, these programs are poised to change the way that the world works. While there is nothing new about being eco-friendly, the degree to which environmental consciousness has been worked into the world of education is astounding. Students are not only being educated on sustainability, but also on how to turn that education into a viable career. Green careers and majors are on the rise, and seem to be here to stay.
A Long-Time Goal
Ecologically friendly careers are nothing new. There have been careers that have emphasized sustainability and responsible land use for years, even if most of those careers never carried a particular label. Engineering, science and technology majors have long offered career paths for those students who wished to contribute to a more environmentally friendly future, and there have always been openings in eco-friendly companies, government regulatory agencies and lobbying groups for those students who have wanted to put the Earth first. Many of these careers, however, have been hidden from those who are most qualified.
The Green Movement
Today's rise in popularity is tied to an overall green movement. Where once sustainable careers were shunted aside or hidden in technical language, the ecologically friendly nature of most of these majors and jobs are now being highlighted. It is fashionable to "go green", and many have taken the philosophy to heart. Many fields now have environmentally friendly components, and major businesses are more than happy to get the publicity that comes with adding jobs related to sustainability. This green movement might be one that is directed at nature, but it is also one that has had a huge impact on the business world.
The Changing Face of Education
The increased focus on sustainability in the job market has been echoed by a major change in the way that education views sustainability. Where once eco-friendliness might be tied to a quick Earth Day lesson, today's classrooms are turning out ecologically conscious citizens. The change in the way that higher education markets itself has also been a result of this movement. With more campuses embracing low-emission vehicles, alternative fuels and sustainable policies, it was only a matter of time before these same patterns of thought would be repeated within the course catalogs of those same institutions.
New Majors, New Careers
As the green movement grows, so too do new career paths. Students can now major in sustainability studies along with old favorites like environmental law and engineering. Bioethics and urban planning now play a major role in the sciences and public services career paths, and even business majors have the option to take courses that focus on how businesses impact the Earth. Every field is touched by sustainability, and every student is given the chance to find a way to make sure that his or her dreams of contributing to a cleaner Earth can fit in with his or her career choices.
Sustainability has proven to be more than a buzzword in education. It is a very real phenomenon, and one that students are embracing. As eco-friendly majors are offered at more schools, it is more likely that these degrees will carry more weight in the public and private sectors. As the thinking of new graduates changes, so too will the world in which they work. While the green movement has many components and many competing philosophies, one thing seems sure - today's students are embracing it and they are making the movement one of their own.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education and the Sustainability. In this article, he discusses the growing popularity and importance of sustainable education and careers. He aims to encourage further study with a masters in sustainable agriculture.