With Raleigh recently named as the #2 Fastest Growing Clean Energy job center in the U.S. by the Brookings Institute, it’s clear that North Carolina is on the cusp of some very important sustainability breakthroughs.
Forward thinking projects like reclamation and recycling and expanding the network of electric car charging stations are just the tip of the spear when it comes to the work of sustainability experts throughout the state. Some of the deeper, but more important efforts, have come through green power production—roughly a third of our electrical capacity is in zero-emission nuclear, while we have also taken third place in the country in installed solar capacity.
It’s important work that takes an advanced education to manage, and North Carolina universities are up to the task of turning out sustainability experts who can make a difference.
Sustainability Jobs Available in North Carolina With the Right Degree
Like most states, the state itself and a variety of non-profit organizations, like Sustain Charlotte, are major employers of sustainability professionals in consulting or regulatory roles.
North Carolina has also become an up-and-coming center for automotive manufacturing, which means companies like Volvo and Advance Auto Parts are in the market for sustainable manufacturing and engineering experts.
Green energy is becoming a big deal in sustainability all across the country, and companies like Covanta Energy and Duke Energy are some of the companies in North Carolina looking for professionals to guide their renewable energy efforts.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in North Carolina
Greensboro’s North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University has it’s own nearly 500-acre working farm that is a hotbed of agricultural sustainability research, which makes it the perfect place to earn a Master of Science in Agricultural and Environmental Systems with a Natural Resources and Environmental Systems Concentration. Aggies are all about improving 21st century life through science, and this program puts you on the path to contribute.
Architects have an important role to play in sustainability efforts, since so much energy and other consumption is molded by the built environments we live in. At NC State, the Master of Architecture degree acknowledges this reality and makes green building issues a priority throughout the curriculum.
There’s no such thing as business as usual when it comes to business education anymore—if your MBA program doesn’t confront issues of long-term sustainability in the modern enterprise, it’s not worth taking. So you’ll be happy to hear that the MBA at Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina has a Sustainable Enterprise Concentration that helps future business leaders develop strategies that not only honor the demands of the traditional bottom line, but also society and the environment.
Boone’s Appalachian State University offers a Master of Science in Technology Program that focuses on sustainable technological development in renewable energy, efficiency, and high-performance structures. Housed in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, the program is well-placed to help you learn to evaluate the appropriate state-of-the-art technologies in the field as well as the science of building design and construction to use them in.
Sustainable Development and Policy
Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem offers a Master of Arts in Sustainability that provides an interdisciplinary approach that combines social sciences, the humanities, natural science, management, and law to offer a full-spectrum perspective on sustainability policy and leadership on modern society. Taking the concept even further, a JD/MAS and MDIV/MAS are also offered to deliver even more specialization in the legal and social aspects of sustainable development.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in North Carolina
Whether you are on your way to a lucrative position working in sustainability or aiming yourself toward an advanced degree in the field, you’re going to need to start off with a relevant and adequate four-year degree first.
Catawba College has just the thing, a Bachelor of Science in Environment and Sustainability with a vast array of resources on tap to support explorations into every variety of sustainability science. The Catawba campus serves as an enormous outdoor laboratory, backing onto the Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve that offers both practical lessons and cutting edge research opportunities. With concentration in Environment and Outdoor Education, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, and Sustainable Planning and Leadership, you can use your Catawba bachelor’s as a springboard to any type of sustainability career or advanced degree.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in North Carolina
Sustainability is a forward-thinking area of study, so it makes sense to look for forward-thinking schools when it comes time to study it. In today’s education world, forward-thinking means online access. The ability to take courses at any time of day or night, from any location, is a huge advantage to any master’s level student trying to balance education, family, and career.
So the Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment has a Master of Environmental Management that is the perfect solution if you are looking for a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to understanding leadership in the environmental world. A highly relevant curriculum taught by experts in the field keeps you connected to the topic no matter where you are studying from.