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 while 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.

Sample Employers in lionshare

Focus Areas in Environment & Sustainability

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.

Here is a sample list of applied areas in this industry:

  • Media — to cover environmental issues
  • Facilities — to ensure environmental health and safety
  • Policy or Law — to encourage change by lawmakers and defend the environment
  • Venture capital or socially responsible investing — to put money toward sound organizations
  • Sciences /Engineering— to put new technologies and processes into place

Columbia University Resources

  • The Earth Institute hosts the All-Ivy Sustainable Development Fair each spring (see link for participant organizations). Follow the Institute’s calendar of events for regular panels and networking opportunities. The Institute also offers internship programs, travel grants, and research programs.
  • The Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University offers Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships to a select group of undergraduate students.
  • The Earth and Environmental Engineering department at Columbia provides programs in environmental health, sustainable energy and materials, and water resources and climate risks. Learn about research opportunities for students.
  • Columbia’s student-run organizations offer ways to explore career options, gain experience, and network.
  • There are a number of Entrepreneurship resources at Columbia. If you’re interested in working at a Startup or launching a company of your own, visit the Start Up industry resource page.
  • Columbia offers assistance to students and alumni interested in pursuing Fellowships (scholarship and research opportunities). Learn about the programs and offices for different schools on campus: CC/SEAS and GS.
  • Check out recent graduates’ post-grad plans and transferable skillset on our major tipsheets for Sustainable Development and Earth and Environmental Engineering.

Job & Internship Search Resources

Professional Associations

Job Boards



Urban Planning/Design & Building



Socially Responsible Business & Investing



International Development, Non-Profit, Government




In the Know