Jobs in this sector promote sustainability, remedy or prevent environmental damage, or put people, profit, and planet on equal footing. Opportunites are in private industry, government agencies, and non profits. Some positions are at organizations with environmental missions. Others are within the corporate social responsibility or supply chain functions of corporations. As a starting point to learn more, visit The National Center for O*NET’s overview of green economic sectors.

You might work in

  • Media — to cover environmental issues
  • Facilities — to ensure environmental health and safety
  • Policy or Law — to encourage change by lawmakers and defend the environment
  • Centure capital or socially responsible investing — to put money toward sound organizations

 

Green/Environmental Careers Job Search

In this field, most people have a passion for solving complex problems, working with new or emerging research and technologies, and see themselves as agents of change. Sought after skills and abilities (from a survey conducted by the US EPA) include communication skills (speaking, writing, visual, listening), broad environmental science understanding, creativity and innovation, critical thinking, and technical skills.

If you are interested in working at a mission-driven organization, starting off as a volunteer can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Other ways to show interest in, gain experience in, and start to transition into the field is by taking on or getting involved in making your own student group, community organization, or company more environmentally-friendly — even if it’s not in your official job title.

An internship or job search can take anywhere from three to nine months, so it’s best to start the process early. Different industries recruit in different ways, and even within industries, individual organizations often have their own timelines. See our Jobs and Interships page for more information on strategizing your search. A job search in this sector, like all others, requires research (into the type of work you want to do, and knowing who is doing it), networking (meeting people who are doing work that interests you), using tailored online job boards (and organization web sites directly) and direct outreach techniques. There are plenty of Columbia resources that can assist you in each piece of the process.

Center for Career Education Resources

  • Career Fairs — Connect Columbia students and alumni with employers. Past participants include NYC Department of Design and Construction, Community Water Solutions, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Grid, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, ERS, and Proctor & Gamble.
  • LionSHARE - Examples of organizations that post include CH2M Hill, Con Edison, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Betterfarm, R3 Energy Management Audit& Review, Transportation Alternatives, and Acumen Fund.
  • Vault and WetFeet - Career resources for learning about companies and industries. In Vault, you will find the Vault Guide to Environmental Careers, Vault Career Guide to the Energy Industry and Vault Guide to Green Programs. Wetfeet offers a Guide to Green Careers and a Guide to Careers with a Conscience. Log in with your UNI and password.
  • Read profiles of alumni working in the green sector, including:

Sabolch Horvat, SEAS ‘10, HAVI Global Solutions, Senior Analyst
Ganesh Betanabhatla, CC’06, Pine Brook Road Partners, Vice President

Columbia Resources

External Resources

Professional Associations

Job Boards

General

Urban Planning/Design & Building

Energy/Climate

Socially Responsible Business & Investing

International Development, Non Profit, Government

Social Venture Competitions

Additional Resources

Resources