Is There A Green Job In Your Future?


Current college students, recent grads and high school seniors have only to take one look at the job market to understand that many of the jobs that were popular as recently as six months ago no longer exist. Besides retailing, which has lost one-third of its employees during the current recession, other industries are reporting double digit declines.

greeneryThese trends do not bode well for students who expect to leave college and find jobs in careers that are no longer promising.

One area that is poised to grow and perhaps sharply are “green jobs” those careers where environmental friendly work is being accomplished. As part of President Obama’s initiative to clean up the environment, tax corporations who have an outsize carbon footprint, and attempt to reverse climate change, he has proposed the creation of millions of new jobs in this field.

In California, the California Community Colleges Workforce and Economic Development Centers of Excellence’s (COE) took a similar look at the job market in its area and came to the same conclusion: many traditional jobs were gone. But, they also believe that the green economy is poised to take off and those jobs will replace what has been lost.

Surveying 59 businesses in their area, the COE examined three points which were part of their report:

  1. How a green-focused economy would impact the region;
  2. Which industries would be most impacted over the short-term; and
  3. How these changes would alter the need for workforce demand and training in the region.

Their conclusions were enlightening as well as encouraging, revealing the following concerns businesses have about business in general and what they seek from the workforce:

  • Price fluctuations of old-energy, consumer demand and legislative support are all propelling industry change at record levels.
  • Green jobs come in all shapes and require varying experience levels including senior and entry level alike. A short-term training certificate can mean as much to a current employer than years of formal training. The immediacy for green professionals is taking precedence over long-term, path-specific experience.
  • Seventy one percent of employers reported a “great” or “moderate” difficulty in retaining valuable employees from competition. These fields are competitive, and employers are hiring long-term positions.
  • Individuals with experience in sales, installation, technology, estimation, assembly, manufacturing, resource allocation and planning can all readily turn their experience into “green collar” jobs.

Clearly, the green economy promises much growth, something students and new grads should take into consideration when planning their careers.

The report detail what community colleges and training centers can do to meet the needs of employers, including technical-skill training and advanced safety training. The report also debunks the myth that “green” industries are only industries of the future. Rather, the industries demanding the most jobs include the traditional industries of agriculture, utilities and power generation, water and wastewater, and construction and design services.

Source: Centers of Excellence

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Categories: Career Planning