Pennsylvania is among the oldest settled places in the United States, and that means we’re no strangers to the long-standing issues that long-term human inhabitation brings: we have 95 EPA-designated SuperFund toxic waste cleanup sites here, the legacy of our long history of industrialization; the long-term impacts of both industry and agriculture have also impacted the vital Chesapeake Bay, which the Susquehanna is a main tributary for.
But we’re also facing new challenges, chances to get the future right: the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale Reserves using millions of gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing; rapid urbanization encroaching on traditional agricultural land in the southeast.
Put it all together and it means a lot of opportunity for sustainability professionals. And we have just the educational system in place to train and support those professionals across the state.
Sustainability Jobs Available in Pennsylvania With the Right Degree
With a broad mixture of industries and environmental operations, Pennsylvania has a job for almost anyone interested in sustainability.
Manufacturers like the PQ Corporation need sustainability specialists to shepherd their operations through environmental regulations and economic realities, while service corporations like Aramark are interested in sustainability from supply chain and operations perspectives.
But there are also options at unusual places like Ikea, which places a premium on sustainable products in all its stores and needs compliance auditors to ensure it.
Master’s in Sustainability Available Through Schools in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a big state with a lot of choices for different schools and specialty degree programs in sustainability. Some schools even capture every perspective in a single program—Chatham University offers a Master of Sustainability that has five different tracks covering nearly every major specialty:
- Urban and Energy Systems
- Ecology and Resource Management
- Business and Innovation
- Food Systems
- Policy and Economy
Penn State is another school that has a little something for everyone, but the Master of Science in BioRenewable Systems really stands out. Combining scientific and business acumen, this degree offers a way to get an edge in biofuels and sustainable bio-products across the board.
The University of Pennsylvania gets in on the act with their Master of Architecture degree with an emphasis in Environmental Building Design. LEED accreditation is only the start to this extensive introduction into net-zero design and build techniques.
If you think you’re up for it, the famous Wharton School at UPenn has a behemoth of a program for you in sustainable development: the Multi-Master’s Degree in International Environmental Management. Incorporating a Master in Environmental Studies from UPenn, a Mastère Spécialisè degree in Environmental Management from the Ecole des Mines de Paris, and a Master of Engineering from Tsinghua University in Bejing, this is the sustainability version of a triathlon. Only the best are accepted to this impressive and highly competitive program.
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh gives you a double-decker degree with their MBA in Sustainable Business Practices. Combining economic with environmental and moral factors, you’ll learn what it takes to build a sustainable business in the 21st Century.
Villanova’s multi-disciplinary Master of Science in Sustainable Engineering hits all the green technology knowledge you could possibly need to get started in materials science, renewable energy production, or any one of the six specialization tracks offering high-tech sustainability training in areas like Alternate and Renewable Energy, Sustainable Materials, Sustainable Infrastructure & Built Environment, Water Resource Sustainability and International Development.
Sustainability Bachelor Degree Programs in Pennsylvania
On the way to that prestigious master’s degree, don’t forget to make time to investigate a suitable bachelor’s degree to set the foundation. Learning the fundamentals is an important first step whether you are going on to advanced education or straight to the workforce.
Private Messiah College in Mechanicsburg offers one route to that foundation, combining morality with sustainability practices in a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies. Resource stewardship and creation care are explored through cultivating the campus community garden and taking part in internships around the world.
Online Sustainability Degrees Offered Through Schools in Pennsylvania
Online programs offer convenience together with their own sustainability advantages by reducing commuting, classroom construction, and energy consumption. This makes online classes an inherently greener way to study than the traditional format.
With the 100 percent online Master of Education in Environmental Education offered by Slippery Rock University, you can practice what you will be preaching. Designed for working educators, the program offers an overview of societal interactions with ecological systems and teaches you how to effectively design and present your own courses in environmental sustainability.