You are a person who cares about the planet. You do what you can: recycle, walk or bike whenever possible and avoid buying anything made from non-sustainable materials. You even own a hybrid vehicle. Does your current career align with your environmental values?
How Do You Take the First Step?
Maybe the job you have now isn't as meaningful as you would like it to be. Maybe it even goes against your beliefs because it harms the planet in some way.
Or it could be that you are working at a job that is good for the planet, but your income barely pays the bills.
Have you thought about changing careers?
If you would like to make a change but don't feel you have the training, here is a way to save the planet while advancing your career online.
If you are passionate about saving the planet and would love to work in this industry, an online masters in sustainable energy may be a good next move for you. In the past, online degrees may have seemed like an alien thing. Lately, though, and especially during the recent pandemic, online learning has been embraced by a much larger portion of the population. It may be the best fit for you, too.
What Is Sustainable Energy?
By now, everyone has probably heard of solar power. Driving down the highway, you can see solar panel "farms" making use of what used to be empty fields. Living in certain states, giant white windmills, or turbines, can also be seen. Basically, sustainable or renewable energy is any source of power that will not run out.
Other types of renewable energy include hydroelectric power, which obtains its energy from moving water and less familiar ones like geothermal power, which harnesses the heat within the earth.
These types of energy are all considered "clean" energy. "Dirty", non-renewable energies are harmful for the planet and we need to get away from our dependence on them. They include oil, coal and other fossil fuels. These fuels are not renewable and will run out one day.
They also create dependency on countries with an abundance of these fuels instead of making communities self-sufficient.
People have finally started realizing that this is the direction we need to move in and many new careers are opening up as a result.
What Can You Do With a Degree in Sustainable Energy?
If the idea of having a degree in sustainable energy appeals to you, let's take a look at some actual careers you could have in this field.
Two possible careers center around renewable energy: green engineering and specialty electrician. People who work in green engineering have a broad knowledge of biology, chemistry, and even soil science. Green engineers work at designing things like solar panels and windmills and they try to make them affordable enough for wide use.
Contractors and specialty electricians are a bit more hands-on and will be the ones to install solar panels and replace old, drafty windows with more efficient ones.
Do you love farms? Biofuel is a new sustainable energy derived from farm byproducts, both plant and animal.
You could also become an environmental consultant. In this field, you would help companies become more green. These companies would pay for your services and every business you work with would improve the environment a bit more.
How Do You Know You'll Like Working With Sustainable Energy?
While going to school, consider doing an internship in the field. Internships offer valuable experience, both to help you decide if this is the career for you, and to help you get a job when you graduate. Some internships even pay a salary.
Since this is a rapidly expanding field which many people will predictably be going into, there should be many openings for dedicated and passionate interns.
Renewable energy is changing the planet for the better. Let a degree in sustainable energy change you for the better too.