While most sectors and industries are reporting reduced hiring and smaller budgets, recent articles published by Green Technology Daily and Veteran's Green Jobs indicate not all sectors are created equal. It turns out that many legislative trends, utilities, and technologies are having an impact on "green-collar" job prospects.
According to ScienceDaily, around $155 billion was invested in clean energy companies and projects worldwide in 20081. The report indicates that despite overarching financial difficulties as a result of the global economic crisis, spending on green energy grew by 5% over 2007. The spending equates to new jobs because the bulk of the money was spent on creating renewable energy infrastructure and workers are needed to build, operate, and maintain this infrastructure. While it is true that much of this spending is attributed to projects in developing nations like China, Brazil, and India, there was minimal decline in the United States and a significant portion of the recovery funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been earmarked for environmentally friendly infrastructure projects. This will likely mean more opportunities in the Federal sector.
A great example of green development trends in the United States is the impending Cisco and Duke Energy project in Indiana. The two companies plan to roll out a massive new "smart grid" infrastructure to improve real-time monitoring of gas and utilities usage, reduce energy expenditure, enhance reliability, and better integrate emerging energies2. This initiative will require information technology, utilities, and construction professionals as well as the extensive support network of accountants, administrators, and executives required for any large-scale project.
Even the military is joining the charge toward a greener future and new employment prospects for service men and women. Veterans Green Jobs (VGJ) Academy in Colorado graduated its first class on June 5, 20093. In partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), VGJ is paving the way for more (and higher quality) green job opportunities by increasing the number and skill of trained workers. One project is the Clean Energy Training Center, intended to operationalize new and emerging technologies for clean and efficient energy.
For those looking for a way to climb on the green corporate ladder, Sarah Fister Gale with GreenBiz.com has some suggestions for you4. According to her article from March 2009, job seekers can work to expand their green skills (and get their boss's attention) by:
Experiences like these can help job seekers build a track record of green accomplishments to be showcased on a resume. When presenting these projects and contributions, it is advantageous to think about how these experiences are transferable to a new role. By effectively presenting new strengths on a resume, these achievements can help job seekers earn top consideration from hiring managers when a related position opens in their current company or when they apply to an outside opportunity.
As the sector grows, "green-collar" jobs will grow along with it. This means there will be more chances for job seekers to stand out and make an impact!