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.
Check out the latest Firsthand guide on this industry here
Sample Employers in lionshare
- CH2M Hill
- Con Edison
- NYC Department of Environmental Protection
- R3 Consulting Group, Inc.
- Transportation Alternatives
- Acumen Fund
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. Groups include Earth Coalition, Scientists and Engineers for a Better Society, CURES (Columbia University Renewable Energy Society), and Columbia Engineers without Borders.
- 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.
- Sign up for the Science opportunities email listserv through the Center for Student Advising.
- 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
- Social Venture Network
- American Solar Energy Society
- International Society of Sustainability Professionals
- International Ecotourism Society
- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
- Society for Environmental Journalists
- Water Environment Federation
Urban Planning/Design & Building
Socially Responsible Business & Investing
International Development, Non-Profit, Government