Portland is a green city, and Oregon as a whole is a green state, inside and out—our citizens consume the highest percentage of energy from renewable resources of any state in the country, and our forests are the top producer of softwood lumber in the country.Forbes puts us at #2 on the list of Greenest States in the nation.
So naturally, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that you can get a first-rate sustainability education here… and have no trouble finding a job in which to put that education to use after you graduate.
Picking the right school can be as challenging as picking the right job in a place that offers as many options as you’ll find here.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Oregon With the Right Degree
The value that Oregonians and our corporations place on sustainability shows up in the job listings. We punch way above our weight in terms of green job availability state-wide.
A lot of those jobs are with non-profits. Sustainable Northwest, Center for Sustainable Economy, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and others are looking for educational, managerial, and other sustainability specialists to further their agenda.
But we have plenty of big business interested in sustainability here too, like Nike, with a global portfolio that has to be managed to not only keep up with economic realities, but with their increasingly green customer base. And consultancies like Brightworks Sustainability and ULI Northwest make a thriving business out of sustainability design and consultation practices.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Oregon
Just like there’s no shortage of sustainability jobs here, there are no shortage of places where you can earn a master’s degree in the field. Just one, Portland State University, boasts twelve different departments offering sustainability graduate programs!
Diving into the specifics of rangeland and riparian zone ecology in Corvallis at Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences is the province of the Rangeland Ecology and Management Master of Science degree. Oregon has plenty of rangeland to study and OSU is the place to do it, with expertise in watershed management, range nutrition, and physiological ecology on offer.
You know that the University of Oregon Master of Architecture, available in either Portland or Eugene, is serious about sustainability studies when you realize it’s offered by the School of Architecture and Environment. That core understanding, that built architecture is a functional part of the environment, underlies all the fundamental precepts of traditional architectural studies you will be steeped in here.
Oregonians aren’t just concerned with state or regional sustainability; we care about it in the global context, too, and that’s exactly what you’ll learn about in Oregon State University’s Master of International Studies program with a concentration in Global Development. Natural science, engineering, and management practices are viewed in the international perspective to give you the tools and ideas you need to think big about sustainability.
If you are thinking about a career in business sustainability, then the clear choice for earning your MBA should be with a school ranked in the top ten for green MBAs by the Princeton Review. Here, that’s the University of Oregon MBA with the Sustainable Business Specialization. A diverse array of classes that look at sustainability topics like food, project management, and sports through the business lens means you’ll develop skills in sustainability that will move you toward almost any career path.
Wilsonville’s Oregon Tech has a Master of Science in Renewable Energy that will both take you to some of the prettiest scenery Oregon has to offer and give you some of the most expansive choices in green energy studies available in the country today. The program has more than a dozen specializations, ranging from advanced energy storage to biofuels to global energy issues. With a concurrent accelerated format that combines a BS with the MS in a single five-year block, this program offers a fast-track to a successful career in sustainable energy.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Oregon
A successful career in sustainability doesn’t have to include a master’s degree, and you can earn four-year degrees throughout Oregon that will give you the skills and information you need to jump right into the workforce.
Southern Oregon University’s Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy is one of those, offered at the school’s Ashland campus. With a broad-based perspective on sustainability studies ranging from the practical, on-the-ground technologies in play to the overarching economic and policy issues in question, you will get the education you need to either get to work or go on to a more advanced degree.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Oregon
The ability to take courses any time, from anywhere you can get an internet connection, is a powerful way to maintain control and flexibility in your life even as you further your education.
Oregon schools are on the ball when it comes to online offerings, like the Environmental Economics and Policy Bachelor of Science offered by Oregon State University. You’ll be taught by the same top-ranked professors as the on-campus program in a rigorous environment that will help you develop strong economic and statistical analysis skills to apply to the development of environmental and sustainability policies.