Skip to main content

Energy & Sustainability

Sustainability focused or “green” careers can include roles at nonprofits, government agencies or for-profit companies. A focus on sustainability can be found in work related to renewable energy, sustainable practices in agriculture, law, production or architecture, policy, and conservation. The focus of sustainable professionals is to preserve natural resources for the future, reduce long term impacts of human/corporate behavior, increase efficiency, research, and develop products. 

Skills to develop for success in this field

  • Attention to detail 
  • Collaboration and ability to work on a team 
  • Communication 
  • Passion for sustainability
  • Problem solving
  • Project management
  • Quantitative and qualitative analytical ability  

Online resources specific to the industry

  • Vault is a comprehensive resource for information on what it is like to work within an industry, company or profession. 

Job posting and other career informational sites relevant to the field:  

Key information or knowledge for this field

  • Just as there are certifications to prove an organization’s commitment to sustainable practices, there are also an increasing number of certifications to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and skill in the industry. When researching specific roles and talking with professionals, this is a topic to explore further as it could help with future career advancement. 
  • The skills required for sustainable or “green” careers can vary widely. For example, positions can require more technical or scientific skills if they fall into the areas of engineering or research. On the other hand, helping a corporation to market sustainable products requires little to no scientific training, but an understanding of marketing techniques.  A passion for the mission will be critical to all careers in the field of sustainability. Researching and conducting informational interviews will help to understand what combination of technical and other transferable skills are required.  

Relevant student groups and professional organizations

Northwestern Student Groups: 

External Professional Organizations: