There are a variety of career opportunities in the areas of environment, sustainability and energy. With so many options and industries to choose from, Yale students are encouraged to get involved with coursework and student organizations within their particular area of interest. They can also look for internships to allow them to immerse themselves within the industry over the summer. OCS advisors are available to meet with you individually to discuss the many options. Yale’s Office of Career Strategy participates in the All Ivy Environmental & Sustainability Career Fair which is open to all Yale students served by OCS. This event occurs every spring at Columbia University and allows our students to engage with recruiters across these industries. Yale College juniors and seniors can use the Professional Development Reimbursement Program to cover their expenses.
Opportunities for a career focusing on the environment are available in the for profit, nonprofit and public sector.
- Environmental jobs can range from private sector jobs with solar companies, environmental consulting firms, and engineering firms.
- Nonprofit environmental activists promote environmental causes and work to influence public policy. Careers could involve urban planning, community organizing and communications with various shareholders. An environmental advocate could lobby for environmental legislation, organize protests and events, fundraise for an environmental organization, and work on press releases for the media.
- Local, state and federal government careers provide a wide variety of positions for those interested in protecting ecosystems. Governments and public universities hire conservation scientists, environmental engineers, and geologists to conduct research, design projects, and shape policy.
A career in sustainability focuses on reducing environmental and health-related risks while increasing organizational growth. Opportunities exist across sectors and industries.
- Many for profit companies now consider sustainability to be a major consideration in their business model and therefore have sustainability strategies that need to be developed and implemented. They also hire engineers who use sustainable practices for reducing waste.
- There are scientists and researchers such as conservation scientists, microbiologists and atmospheric researchers.
- Sustainable urban designers and builders have an increasing need as city governments recognize the importance of green architecture and reducing pollution.
- Sustainable careers can be a part of a nonprofit community outreach team, managing direct services and overseeing educational programs for underserved populations.
- There are sustainability opportunities in the legal profession, journalism, and policy.
The energy industry includes electricity, natural gas, oil, and renewable energy technology. Many career opportunities exist within this industry and it reaches across all three sectors.
- There are opportunities in engineering and business to join private sector employers, especially large oil or gas companies.
- The nonprofit and government sectors allow for career paths in policy research or policy making.
- The U.S. Department of Energy offers positions for a variety of job functions from research, engineering, marketing and finance.
- Energy engineering focuses on the development and maintenance of technologies which are related to energy efficiency, environmental compliance, and alternative energy technologies. Specialties include: drilling and petroleum, nuclear power, solar and/or wind energy, or electrical systems.
- Energy Economists analyze how new energy technologies entering the market will affect supply and demand in the energy industry. Looking at factors such as the methods and efficiency of energy production, distribution and consumption, economists play an important role in predicting and shaping future energy trends.