Like most states, Oklahoma has a whole mess of work ahead of it to cope not only with the environmental sins of the past, but also to address the coming challenges in the future with global climate change.
Our history with big petrochemical production and refining operations over the years has left us with more than 15 national SuperFund cleanup sites according to the EPA.
And for the future, according to the National Climate Assessment, consumption and production patterns, freshwater availability, heat extremes, and increasing threats from infestations and disease are all on the menu for our state.
These are all issues that demand highly trained and skilled environmental sustainability experts to deal with. From cleanup to planning, sustainability professions are in demand in Oklahoma today. And Oklahoma schools are rising to the challenge of developing graduates suited to step into those roles.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Oklahoma With the Right Degree
Oklahoma might be right in the middle of some of the largest oil fields in the nation, but we’re also smack in the middle of the Sun Belt, which makes us prime territory for solar installations. We’ve got some pretty stiff winds, too, and together they make us a hub for renewable energy.
Sustainability experts can find positions working for outfits like Solareum or General Electric’s Renewable Energy division working on wind or solar projects ranging from backyard installations up to major productions like the Persimmon Creek Wind Farm outside Vici.
Big contractors like Tetra Tech are also often in the market for sustainability experts here, picking up government or energy industry contracts for environmental or sustainability engineers.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Oklahoma
There are a wide array of both general and specialty sustainability degrees available at the master’s level in Oklahoma.
For general sustainability studies, for example, the University of Oklahoma offers a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sustainability at its campus in Norman. With thesis and non-thesis options, the program pursues an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability studies that gives you a broad-based perspective on challenges and solutions to ecological issues facing the state, nation, and world today.
Architecture and Sustainable Development
UO also has a great set of graduate degrees in architecture, design, and development on tap. They include:
- Master of Architecture
- Master of Landscape Architecture
- Master of Regional and City Planning
- Master of Urban Design
Business has a big impact on the environment and is increasingly both regulated for that purpose and constrained by costs resulting from decreasing resource availability. That makes understanding sustainability a key skill for modern business executives, and earning your MBA with a Business Sustainability Concentration from the Watson Graduate School of Management at Oklahoma State University is a great way to gain those skills.
Oklahoma has been a center for both legacy and green energy production for decades, so it’s a recognized center for expertise in the field today. Oklahoma City University allows you to tap into some of that expertise through their Master of Science in Energy Management. Ranked #1 in the state and #37 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, this is a high-level perspective on the energy industry that provides education on both old and new technologies to educate executives how to manage within a changing business environment, all with an eye toward sustainably.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Oklahoma
It can be tough for bachelor’s programs to stand out from the crowd with so many available here, but one innovative alternative is found at Oklahoma City’s Langston University. The school offers a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Science with a Natural Resources Management plan of study that takes you down some particularly interesting sustainability paths. The university is a major research and development center in aquaculture studies, despite its location in one of the driest of states, and the research opportunities here are second to none.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Oklahoma
Remote learning is becoming as important in sustainability fields as it has become in every other modern field of study. So it’s a good deal for Oklahoma students that the state has online programs for sustainability subjects like the online Master of Science in Agricultural Education offered by Oklahoma State University.
Designed to train future teachers and leaders in agricultural research and education, the program can be tailored very specifically to each individual’s requirements and goals, both in terms of scheduling flexibility and course content. With a degree from a powerhouse ag school like OK State, you won’t have any trouble finding job opportunities in the field after graduation.