Sustainability: Find Your Niche Today

Written By: Rebecca Knezek, Client Data Manager

As I approach my last semester of college and prepare for graduation, I am flooded with the famous question, “What’s your plan?” This simple yet daunting question leaves most soon-to-be college graduates stressed and overwhelmed. It is like everyone is expecting us to know exactly what we want to do with the rest of our lives, which in most cases, we have no idea. But what I do know is that I have a passion, and I know that will lead to a plan. I am currently an undergraduate student at Arizona State University studying Sustainability, with a focus in energy, materials, and technology. As scary as graduation seems, I am eager to delve into the real world, follow my passion, and start a career in Sustainability. Today’s blog is going to focus on my search for the ideal sustainability job. We will look at: my reasons for choosing to study Sustainability; Sustainability career options; the ever growing world of Sustainability-related programs; and Sustainability initiatives being implemented around the world.

There aren’t just a few Sustainability careers out there…there are tons! This allows for individuals with different backgrounds and passions to find their niche within Sustainability. Through different classes at Arizona State, I found my niche, and that is energy. I find the energy sector so fascinating because it combines both well-established, traditional methods of creating electricity with new and modern technologies. The energy field is just one of many career paths one could pursue within Sustainability. Check out this National Geographic article that talks about some of the other fast-growing Sustainability career fields. Anything spark an interest? There are so many options when it comes to choosing a Sustainability-related career path, and they all are so important. We can’t just focus on electric and futuristic vehicles, and not pay attention to recycling and waste. If you care for our planet and want to make it a better place, then chances are there is a Sustainability-related career out there for you!

To keep up with the huge growth of Sustainability-related careers, we are seeing a lot of Sustainability programs and initiatives around the world. One great academic example is ASU’s School of Sustainability. It officially opened in 2006 and it was the first college in the entire nation to create a program related to Sustainability. Just 11 years later, students wanting to study Sustainability in college have a long list of options. In Spain, there has been a huge push for sustainable farming practices and an increase in farmers’ markets that allow locals to buy fresh and local produce. Copenhagen, which has been voted Europe’s most sustainable city, has put serious efforts into making biking a main mode of transportation instead of driving a personal vehicle. Today, Copenhagen has been rated as the best city to bike in the world. Check out the Greenbiz website to learn about Verge Hawaii, a clean energy summit that is hosted once a year to strategize how to make the state of Hawaii run off of 100% renewable energies. Not only is this conference available for those that want to travel to Hawaii and partake, but one can also sign up to watch the conference virtually. These are just a few examples of different Sustainability initiatives that are taking place all over the world.

As you can see, there are so many unique and diverse career options available that are focused around promoting Sustainability. I knew that I cared for our Earth and wanted to make it a better place, and all the different areas of Sustainability allowed me to follow that passion and study energy. Whether you are a soon-to-be college graduate, a high school student, or a working professional, I encourage you to take a look and see how you can become involved in this rapidly growing field. It’s exciting, fast-paced, and rewarding!