New York being New York, you’ll never have to worry about either finding a job in sustainability or getting an education in the field—we’ve got plenty of options for both. In fact, the most difficult part of making a career in sustainability here will be making the right choices.
It’s not an easy question to address. With some of the most dense, most thriving urban areas in the country as well as some of the most pristine and undeveloped forests and waterways, there is a constant pressure to balance future development demands with environmental preservation.
That means plenty of work developing sustainable urban growth plans, as well as regulating and developing policy for the use of natural resources, such as fresh water, that are key to the long-term health of the state’s population.
With a fresh understanding of the threats that global climate change pose to our coastline (which happens to include the nation’s largest city), sustainability work has become more complex and more nuanced in recent years than ever before. To do the kind of job that the state and the future of the nation demand, you’re going to need the right education for those positions.
Sustainability Jobs Available in New York With the Right Degree
With a thriving economy that is lifting all sectors, your biggest problem with job-hunting in sustainability in New York is narrowing down your opportunities. Do you want to work for a design or project management firm like Tetra Tech or Gensler? No worries, they are both hiring.
Or is something more aspirational, like the non-profit Business for Social Responsibility more your speed? They need supply chain sustainability experts to help reform business strategies globally, all starting with the New York office.
And in the heart of American finance, you can find plenty of sustainability analysis and operations work with organizations like the Blackstone Group, looking at or working with companies worldwide through the prism of sustainable practices.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in New York
It’s New York, so there is no shortage of educational opportunities when it comes to studying sustainability (or anything else, for that matter). The programs at Columbia alone could fill out every category in this list. But from that diversity comes a strength that allows you to select the best of breed in any area of study you choose.
Ithaca’s Cornell is a proud member of the Ivy League, and not a place you typically think of as being heavy into agricultural studies. But the school has a powerhouse in the internationally-respected School of Integrative Plant Studies, and the MS in Field Crop Science offered there can put you at the forefront of research into sustainable crop management practices.
Pratt, with campuses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Utica, has a storied program in architecture. It’s moved into the modern era with a Master of Science in Sustainable Environmental Systems that takes you to the nexus of policy, science, and design to give you the chops you need to put together sustainable structures and systems in any environment.
Hofstra has a Masters in Sustainability program that dives deeper into sustainability concepts than most by asking students to seek different ways of analyzing and achieving sustainability in different settings. You will look at sustainability efforts contextually, going through options facing both first and third world countries.
Bard College, in the heart of New York City, is the right place to go for a business education. With their MBA in Sustainability, you get a healthy helping of environmental responsibility and planning to go with it, all available through a hybrid low-residency program that only requires one weekend a month on campus and allows most other courses to be taken online.
A Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia will open any door in sustainability policy planning that you care to knock on. It’s not just the name, though, or the broad alumni network; it’s the fact that this is a unique, immersive one-year program with a blend of policy and science that offers the practical skills to make challenging but realistic policy suggestions.
Energy and Technology
The New York Institute of Technology is obviously the right place to be if you are interested in green energy and environmental technology studies. The school hits the mark with a Master of Science in Energy Management that dives into the details of sustainable energy platforms with courses on battery technology, fuel cells, power plant systems, and environmental audits.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in New York
A bachelor’s degree is a necessary first step on the path to a master’s in sustainability, or even just to most jobs available in the field today. It’s worth the effort to choose your four-year degree carefully, and in New York, you get a lot of choices!
One of them is the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design offered by the SUNY University at Buffalo. Offered by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the program mines social and behavioral science for tools and techniques to plan and design community environments that meet human needs and behaviors. It’s a great foundation for further sustainability design studies, either at Buffalo or elsewhere.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in New York
Online degree programs are a great option for both professionals seeking to expand their education and work opportunities, and new students who want the benefits of an advanced education with a flexible approach that allows them to get on with their lives.
Long Island University can accommodate both groups with its MS in Environmental Sustainability, offered as a hybrid program combining online and on campus courses that take you through the region’s combination of built infrastructure and natural environments and challenge you to develop sustainable solutions for maintaining both.