Best Career Paths for Green MBAs

Thu, May 3, 2012

6. Misc.

Both the current state of our environment and the economy are grim so there’s no better time than now to earn a green MBA. Obtaining an MBA with a focus on renewable energy and sustainable efforts opens up plenty of opportunities. Whether you’re considering pursuing a green degree or about to graduate from one, you’re probably wondering what kinds of jobs are available. Whether you hope to work in the corporate world, for a non-profit, or in public service there are plenty of options.

Top business schools have been developing sustainability-focused degree paths and legitimate careers open every day to employ grads from these top programs. To find a position, consider looking into any kind of company that deals with energy. Get creative and think of companies who would benefit from an environmentally knowledgeable employee like car companies, restaurants, electric companies and construction companies. To give you a better idea of how actual green MBA graduates used their degree and succeeded, here are a couple examples.

One graduate earned a dual degree with an MBA and M.S. in environmental science. She went on to start at a chemical company as a finance manager. The company produced lithium-ion batteries so her finance position eventually turned to working on green projects including finding safe battery recycling methods and determining how the company could reduce its carbon footprint through analysis of their manufacturing process. She works across divisions now, helping develop sustainable methods throughout different businesses and educates and engages employees and companies on practicing greener methods.

A Michigan University graduate earned his MBA in 2006 and is now the manager and senior project engineer for General Motors where he started as a project engineer for fuel cell technology. Another MBA graduate joined General Electric in their renewable energy leadership program and is now the renewable strategies leader for the company.

The most common paths for MBA graduates to take are in consulting and finance careers. You can adjust most positions to include your passion for the environment, including consulting and finance. A business consultant job could mean consulting with experts to learn how to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and other ways the company would benefit from adopting greener business structures. From the finance department you could advice the company on investing in green technology and show them how it will create long term revenue to practice green business ethics. If a job title doesn’t contain any language referencing sustainability, it doesn’t mean the job wouldn’t include it. Look carefully at job descriptions to find ones who speak to sustainability. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect job, create it. Every company and every position in that company can be altered to include sustainability efforts.

The greenest path to landing on of these jobs would be getting an online MBA. The degree doesn’t define a person; the person defines the degree. Your degree qualifies you for a range of positions, and with enough motivation and drive, you can turn any job into the job of your green dreams.

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