3 Reasons Why Many Green, Environmental & Infrastructure Jobs Will Go Unfilled

The NBC news channels are doing special reports called “Education Nation” which are focusing on education in America. Those who know me know that I am a huge supporter of science education and I thought this would be a perfect time to shed some light on how education will affect the jobs in the Green, Environmental and Infrastructure career fields. There is a CNBC video interview with US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan which shares some eye-opening statistics about our education system (Watch it Here). I would like to build on this information and share ” 3 reasons why many Green, Environmental and Infrastructure jobs will go unfilled”.

 Reason #1 – American Students are falling behind in math and science education: This is not only a primary and secondary school issue. It is also a college and adult education issue. The stats reported in the video the US being ranked 24th and 25th in math and science education are haunting but make my point. Many of the well paying green, environmental and infrastructure jobs require a science and math based college degree or advanced training . Yet student enrollment in programs which provide these requirements are declining.  Adults do not want to return to school for certain reasons  and college students are choosing “easier” degrees with little or no science classes.

Reason #2 – The demand for Green, Environmental and Infrastructure workers will out grow supply:  We will have more jobs than people qualified to fill them. You do the math: The numbers of american graduates with science and math based degrees are declining. The number of baby boomers retiring from these fields are increasing every year. Here are some stats from The Center for Energy Workforce Development which covers the energy industry. Retirement and lack of new workers is set to decimate their workforce:

  • 40 to 60% of the workforce will be retirement eligible by 2012
  • 49% of skilled technicians may need to replaced
  • 45% of engineering jobs in all disciplines will become vacant

Read the Center For Energy Workforce Development Report Here

Reason #3- Science + Math + Entrepreneurship = Opportunity + New Technology:  This is a formula is not discussed openly by big company CEOs, government officials,  community leaders, educators and parents. People need to know real career and entrepreneurial opportunities exist in green, environmental and infrastructure companies. Science and math are big business!  Yet this formula is the basis for many of the most successful companies and consumer products of today. Here are some great companies you have never heard:  AUTODESK AXIUM, Bentley Systems, ERM, Planteco, Eagle SWS, PBS&J, Jacobs Engineering, Ch2M Hill, Enablon and Intelex  Who will be the next person to develop the next “killer” app in green technology? (See the big list of companies here)

Your Action Plan

  1. Find a green, environmental or infrastructure career field that interests you
  2. Subscribe to this blog and buy “Is it Worth The Green”
  3. Research the potential business and job opportunities
  4. Seek out  an accredited, well vetted and quality education and training program that focuses on your field
  5. Take it and don’t give up
  6. Write a new resume
  7. Create a list of target companies who need your new skills
  8. Network with the professional society or industry association
  9. Don’t let people talk you out of your goals
  10. Support science and math education in your local area

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