Which college degree to choose to work in sustainable energy



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The current state of politics and daily life is now centered on climate initiatives, most of which prioritize sustainable development. Today, any institution that promotes sustainable energy is becoming popular – Tesla is the best example.

With young people (like Greta Thunberg) driving the sustainable development movement, universities now need to introduce more renewable energy degrees.

At present, the number of “green” degrees available has grown to 28.5% since 2019. With these numbers in mind, let’s discuss the relevance of pursuing a career in renewable energy. You will also discover lucrative career paths and the best eco-responsible colleges.

Why should you pursue a degree in sustainable energy?

sustainable energy degrees

Most sustainability detractors argue that this is just a fad that will get lost in the noise once people’s interests move on. Well, this claim is wrong. Multinational companies are now actively adopting green initiatives to reduce their energy consumption.

Let’s discuss the main reasons why you need a degree in sustainable energy:

  • Sustainability is a way of life. People now dedicate their lives to causes like [American] Green movement and the green New Deal. As the days go by, sustainability will continue to shift from a marginal movement to a mainstream ideology.
  • Every industry needs sustainable energy to survive and serve as a role model. Companies like Tesla are gaining popularity so intensively because of their green ideals.
  • E-commerce brands also market their products in a recycling-oriented environment.
  • Awareness of sustainability issues makes you more employable. Since most companies go green, they want job prospects with a solid foundation in renewable energy.
  • New career opportunities appear every day. As sustainable development continues to flourish, other career paths materialize alongside it.
  • Many academic and scientific documents exist on this subject. Scientists must now turn their attention to climate concerns. Therefore, you can find new educational resources dedicated to renewable energy before you decide to get a degree.

Diplomas in sustainable energy

sustainable energy diplomas 2

As mentioned earlier, you can build a career with a degree in sustainable energy. But is energy a good career path for you? The answer is yes. Renewable energy degrees can be used in several spheres. Let’s see a few of them below:

  1. Environmental genius
  2. Environmental law
  3. Environmental architecture
  4. Urban planning and development
  5. Marine science
  6. Ecology and waste management
  7. Environmental science and technology
  8. Geosciences
  9. Data analysis in science
  10. Natural resources and conservation

A degree in environmental engineering (or environmental science and technology) opens up opportunities for you in the fields of technology and manufacturing. Likewise, holders of a degree in environmental law could become climate lobbyists or lawmakers. You can also work on Smart City initiatives and off-grid living as a Certified Environmental Architect.

Plus, a marine science degree could land you a job as a researcher or marine biologist.

Water pollution is a pressing problem today, with gruesome images of endangered marine life and waterways contaminated with litter. Therefore, you could become a contributor to environmental safety.

Also, a degree in waste management can help you in this area. Ultimately, a degree in data analytics is also vital for the green workforce, as companies look for ways to monitor and minimize their carbon footprint and toxic emissions.

Career opportunities in sustainable energy

Career opportunities in sustainable energy

Renewable energy degrees guarantee highly rewarding energy engineering opportunities at all levels. Even without any experience, you can land entry-level renewable energy jobs to jumpstart your career. Here are some of the more demanding career choices to consider:

  1. Engineering (electrical, nuclear, mechanical, solar, biomass, wind and other renewable energy engineers)
  2. Academics (researcher, laboratory technician, educator, writer)
  3. Public policy (legislator, lobbyist, representative)
  4. Environmental consulting (climate consultant, environmental advisor)
  5. Computer Science and Communication (STEM)
  6. Entertainment (activist, documentary filmmaker)
  7. Business (brand strategist, project manager, product designer)
  8. Wildlife and biology (marine biologist, zookeeper, park wardens)

Beyond these established career opportunities, you can also forge an independent career path based on your interests. Forward thinking thinkers like Boyan Slat designed their own green initiatives and garnered support from around the world.

Institutions that prioritize renewable energies

institution with lasting degrees

Sustainability is a front page issue at all academic institutions in the United States and around the world. Colleges in the United States devote significant financial and academic resources to renewable energy initiatives.

For example, Harvard University has more than 20 Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings.

While most of the major eco-promoters are Ivy League schools, other schools continue to make waves in renewables. Here are some notable green institutions in the United States:

  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Cornell University
  • Oberlin College
  • Ohio University
  • Yale University
  • Columbia university
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In Europe, some of the leading colleges in sustainable energy degrees include:

  • University of Alcalá, Spain
  • Universitat fur Bodenkultur Wien, Austria
  • University College Cork, Ireland
  • University of Nottingham, UK
  • University of Greenwich, UK
  • Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

Other notable green universities around the world include:

  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Australian National University, Australia
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  • Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  • Universitas Indonesia


A degree in sustainable energy establishes you as one of the best candidates for employment, regardless of industry. You can also convert your expertise to become a climate advocate or implement it into a company’s branding initiative.

However, you need to choose sustainable energy degrees that suit your personality and life goals. You could become an engineer, lawyer, data analyst, or politician. So do not hesitate to go through the available institutions and discover the renewable energy courses they offer.

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