To counterbalance rapid worldwide economic growth, there is urgent demand for highly trained sustainability professionals who can turn environmental implications into economic analysis
Over the past decade, the job market in Canada’s burgeoning sustainability sector has experienced unprecedented growth. According to Environmental Careers Organization Canada, there are more than 50,000 sustainability professionals working in the country, with a projected growth of 4,200 additional jobs in the next three to five years—and that doesn’t even take into account the increase in international career opportunities.
Sustainability is a broad discipline in which those who study it garner a clearer understanding of nearly all aspects of the world around us linked to the environment—from business and technology to the social sciences. It attempts to bridge social science with civic engineering and environmental science with the technology of the future.
One of the biggest reasons why sustainability offers enormous career potential is because resources and energy are becoming scarcer and more expensive. There is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions while developing new innovative technologies; therefore, the demand for capable individuals is becoming increasingly important in this emerging field.
However, it’s no longer enough to have a degree in environmental studies, engineering or organizational development if you want to move up the corporate ladder. Students who go on to graduate-level study in areas like environmental economics can expect career opportunities in the areas of management, applied research, consulting and more
Environmental economists examine the money matters of natural resources from both sides—from their removal to their uses, and how and what waste products are returned to the environment. They study the environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of projects and policies from an economic perspective and in turn advise industry and government on the environmental impacts of decisions.
“Success in sustainability will come from an understanding of both the environmental needs and opportunities and the economic value to an organization,” says Dr. Michael Henry, dean of the School of Business and Economics at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops. “Sustainability professionals will need to speak both languages and do so in a proficient and polished manner.”
Students who complete a master’s program are armed with a unique combination of skills and knowledge necessary to incorporate the principles of sustainability into the economic and management decision-making process in a way that will make them extremely marketable to companies large and small.
“Graduates will have the knowledge and analytical tools required to address the sustainability of many industry sectors, such as fisheries, forestry, agriculture, and energy,” says Dr. Laura Lamb, program coordinator for the master’s programs in environmental economics and management at TRU.
A master’s in environmental economics not only educates students on socially responsible global decision-making, it also enables them to manage the initiatives of diverse stakeholders, therefore presenting them with numerous career opportunities.
If you are a business degree graduate or a current sustainability professional interested in pursuing a master’s degree, Thompson Rivers University is launching its two-year Master of Environmental Economics and Management (MEEM) this fall. The application deadline for the program is May 31, 2017.