The Lowdown: Earning a Sustainable Business Degree
In recent years, the pursuit of environmentally-conscious careers has become increasingly popular. Such positions make up what has become known as the “green collar” job sector. Until recently, however, many colleges and universities did not offer degrees specifically tailored for the pursuit of green collar jobs in the business sector. Fortunately, that has changed, as degrees in sustainable business are not only more readily available, but also in high demand.
What Is a Sustainable Business Degree?
A degree in Sustainable Business prepares future leaders to “restore environmental quality, promote stable and healthy communities and increase long-term profitability,” according to Aquinas College, which offers such a program. Most Sustainable Business degree programs incorporate traditional business courses, like as accounting, marketing and economics, with classes on environmental science and related ethics.
Where to Get a Sustainable Business Degree
Unfortunately, not every college or university currently has a Sustainable Business degree program just yet. However, the programs that are offered are quite comprehensive. As mentioned, Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Business as well as a Master’s. Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability also offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Green Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs have also become increasingly popular and are offered by a number of schools including, Duquesne University, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Green Mountain College, Antioch University, Presidio Graduate School, and Maharishi University of Management. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business also offers another alternative: Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership.
Salaries and Job Prospects for Sustainable Business Degree Holders
Graduates of Sustainable Business degree programs are can pursue careers in environmental consultation, green sales, ecology education, biological systems engineering and green business, just to name a few. Green collar jobs vary greatly in complexity, and therefore the expected salary for these jobs also fluctuates. On average, green collar workers make $76,000 per year, with about half receiving $11,000 in bonus pay, according to a 2009 survey by Reuters. In addition to high average salaries, Sustainable Business is also growing sector. In 2007, the renewable energy industry grew three times as fast as the U.S. economy, with solar, thermal, photovoltaic, biodiesel and ethanol sectors experiencing 25 percent annual revenue growth, according to the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). There will be an estimated 37 million jobs from renewable energy and energy efficiency in the U.S. by 2030, according to another report by ASES.
Erica Moss is the social media outreach coordinator for the online Masters in Nursing program at Georgetown University, which has one of the nation’s leading family nurse practitioner programs. Outside of work, Erica is an avid dog lover who loves photography and meeting new people.