Careers in Sustainability

Sustainability Studies Minor Career Opportunities

Are you wondering what the various career trajectories are with the sustainability minor on your resume? Here are several examples:

Built Environment:

Non-profit sector: for students interested in environmental or socioeconomic justice, grassroots activities, environmental campaigns, community efforts, energy or transportation sectors. E.g.: Sierra Club, Ecology Action

Private sector (incl. start-ups): developing battery systems, cleaner energy solutions locally and around the world, sustainable food systems. E.g. Plantronics, Natron Energy, IDEO, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Community Grains.

Public Sector: developing more sustainable transportation systems in urban areas, collaborating on meeting programs for climate and transportation goals, provide planning, design, construction or environmental consulting/planning for various city offices. E.g. City of San Jose, City of Santa Cruz

Natural Resource Management: if you’re passionate about forests, fish and wildlife, water management and environmental protection more generally, there’s a variety of jobs that would allow you to conduct surveys and site investigations, provide technical advice and leadership for various wildlife or resource management programs:

Non-profit sector: work on protection of forest and wildlife as an ecologist, advocating for sustainable fish and wildlife management.

Private sector (incl. start-ups): work on environmental restoration projects as a coastal restoration engineer or environmental protection specialist ensuring projects are in compliance with local, state or federal laws.

Public Sector: policy coordinator climate programs, resource management specialist for instance on how the city manages water, work for a state agency as wildlife biologist, E.g. California Dept Fish and Wildlife, City of Watsonville, Department of Agriculture,

Many career opportunities are available as the threat of climate change becomes ever-more palpable: there is an increasing impetus for transitioning to renewable energy systems, making buildings more efficient, effectively dealing with waste, and managing natural resources such as water and our forests.

Completion of the minor gives you project experience many employers are looking for; project design, management, and completion. For many jobs, including engineering jobs in public and private sectors and transportation management (urban planning) and energy analyst jobs, you will be working in a team on a particular project. Experience with working on teams, as done through a variety of projects in the minor, stands out on your resume and makes for strong cover letters in job applications.