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What Can I Do with a Sustainability Certificate?

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There are a lot of reasons to seek out a certificate in sustainability, foremost is the insurmountable number of opportunities. Sustainability has opened doors into every facet of the industry in our global economy, transportation, energy, food, and entertainment. Due to the global concern, our environmental businesses and organizations are rapidly looking to optimize their processes by hiring sustainability professionals to analyze and evaluate their companies. There are many ways to track sustainability, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions. They involve the concepts of resource management and skills related to cutting down on a carbon footprint.

A certificate in this field has the benefits of being an accelerated method of getting your foot in the door of the green career hustle, from construction, renewable energy, project management, and green technologies. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, green jobs are growing rapidly. By 2026 there will be a 56 percent increase in sustainability jobs, which is a percentage growth higher than the national average for most careers. Ostensibly, this makes getting a certificate in sustainability a sound investment in longevity and as far as earning potential is concerned. 

A lot of folks are wondering why a certificate? Why not an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree? Why not an apprenticeship? These can all be options for environmental sustainability positions. Certificates are fast and stackable; you can get several in areas of your choice to grow a business or to make yourself that much more appealing to employers. Also, certificates are inexpensive compared to two or four-year degree programs. There are some certificates that are as inexpensive as one hundred dollars for the entire program. There is nothing new about the fact that there are now multiple generations in debt, due to student loans. Earning a certificate is an option for those unwilling to take the leap into a lifetime of owing Sallie Mae. 

Certificates in sustainability come in all shapes and sizes, as do bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees. Some require the completion of five courses, while others may require ten. In many cases, students will choose a specialization, while others are broader. There is generally a range of classes offered that tie into a myriad of disciplines related to sustainability. They may include topics such as sustainable design skills, sustainable development, environmental economics, human-induced climate change, climate change law and policy, sustainable ocean environments, sustainable tourism, sustainable technologies among many others. A certificate generally offers graduate-level courses that are specialized. Many such programs can be completed entirely online with flexible classes that are convenient to support working professionals. 

Jobs You Can Get With a Sustainability Certificate

Ecotourism Guide

Sustainability is not the only field that is on the rise; believe it or not, tourism is also ever-expanding. Travel can put such a strain on local climates and sustainability efforts, therefore, ecotourism is a way to bring the two industries together and make travel less costly to the environment. Ecotourism professionals can offer many skills and resources to support planetary health and enable the industry of tourism to continue its a boom. Tour guides are one of the many jobs within the ecotourism umbrella. These professionals give an environmentally friendly story and train tourists to treat their destinations with the respect that the natural environments need to continue thriving. There are many certificate programs that emphasize tourism and travel. 

Zoning Technician

These professionals collaborate with planners of land use who work to ensure that building and land plans are concurrent with health laws, building codes, safety standards, and of course environmental protection policies. They also look closely at compliance in a variety of additional fronts. They are administrative champions that pursue duties such as filing, building reports, keeping records, attending meetings, and of course researching all of the policies that are relevant to a variety of projects. 

Energy Engineer

Energy engineers are responsible for a myriad of tasks including designing, developing, or evaluating projects that are related to energy. You do have to have a bachelor’s degree to participate in most certificate offerings that are relevant, but it does not have to be related to energy or sustainability. This career pathway is designed to support people to train teams to do all of the tasks necessary to reduce energy consumption. Such professionals might specialize in specializations such as heating, ventilation, electrical systems, HVAC-air conditioning, lighting, air quality, green building, or even the procurement of energy. 

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