Sustainability Careers You May Not Have Thought Of
Sustainability is a rapidly expanding field with a diverse array of career options to consider. Whether assuming the position of business manager, scientist, or engineer, sustainability professionals work to promote the “triple bottom line”: people, profits, and planet. 1
Students who pursue sustainability degrees develop skills that can apply to a number of fields and professions. Here, we take a look at some of the exciting career paths sustainability graduates can pursue.
1. Mission-Driven Brand Manager
For students interested in working in the field of marketing, pursuing a career in mission-driven branding is an exciting way to work with companies making a difference in the world. Companies such as Warby Parker, Whole Foods, TOMS, and BucketFeet, are just a small fraction of the mission-driven companies that students can take their newly learned expertise. 2
Although many of these companies are in their smaller stages of development and may not have the budget for a dedicated sustainability specialist, most are large enough to employ a number of marketers who help their brand reach a wider audience.
As a member of the marketing team, graduates can use their communications expertise to convey a message about their company’s sustainability efforts in a way that makes sense to consumers. This benefits mission-driven brands greatly, as more and more customers expect a company to add value to the global community.
2. University Sustainability Director
Businesses aren’t the only entities worried about their sustainability footprint. Colleges and universities across the country are increasingly adopting more sustainable practices, and for good reason too. Many universities serve sizable populations and have significant operating costs throughout the year.
University sustainability directors not only manage to make day-to-day operations greener, but they also help create both curricular and extracurricular educational experiences for students. For those interested in creating a sustainable future at the university level while also engaging with student populations, university sustainability might be the right path for you. 3
3. Environmental Social Governance Investing
In recent years, investors have become increasingly concerned about the impact that their investments will have on the environment, society, and governance. This trend was sparked in large part due to the investment power of millennials, who want to invest their finances in companies whose values match their own. 4
If you’re looking to make a difference in the fiscal sector, helping clients find investment opportunities that match their moral compass might be a rewarding career path to pursue.
4. Corporate Social Responsibility Creative Manager
Creative teams are an important part of meaningful corporate sustainability. Creative managers can help companies and brands make a positive impact on the world by helping them develop social strategies, manage stakeholders, design more sustainable products, or launch social marketing campaigns that influence public behavior. 4
For those interested in helping to change social perception of issues or helping companies develop sustainable products through creative means, this might be a meaningful career path to consider.
5. Foundation Program Officer
Are you well-versed in global health or water pollution issues? Do you have a vast amount of work experience helping combat climate change? A career as a foundation program officer might be a good fit for you.
Program officers work with charitable foundations with billion of dollars in potential spending, and help influence the foundation to donate to causes and grants to altruistic causes in need of funding. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, for example, employs over 1000 people and has charitably given over $36.7 billion since its inception. Program officers for this foundation help to give funding to ensure sustainable farming, provide water, sanitation and hygiene in places in need, and promote sustainable design. 5
Though these jobs are competitive by nature, if you have in-depth experience and expertise in a particular subject area, foundation work may be a good path to pursue. 6 For sustainability graduates interested in nonprofit, altruism, and activism working in foundations is a noble and rewarding career path.
There is no single right way to pursue a career in sustainability. If you’re looking for a career that allows you to work in a variety of industries, make a difference in local and global communities, and reduce your company’s environmental impact, earning an MBA in Sustainable Business from Marylhurst University Online is the first step to this rewarding career path.