Sustainability jobs: Top 3 major trends shaping careers

Sustainability jobs Top 3 major trends shaping careers

Businesses are working to urgently address the environmental crisis in their corporate sustainability strategies. They are increasingly paying attention to the impact of their output, which has created a demand for specific skills and numerous sustainability jobs

It has caused sectors to reevaluate their operations, implement environmentally friendly alternatives, and embrace sustainable solutions. The shift has given way to a substantial number of green positions across a range of industries. Keep reading as we explore the growth of green jobs and share the 3 transformative trends shaping climate careers.

The demand for green skills

The LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report 2023 finds that postings for sustainability jobs are growing nearly twice as fast as the number of workers with the skills to fill them. Moreover, just one in eight people currently have the skills required to tackle the climate crisis. 

The report shares that between 2022 and 2023, the share of talent with the skills to help address climate change grew by 12.3 percent. In saying that, the share of jobs posted over the same period that required a minimum of at least one green skill rose to 22.4 percent. Jobseekers who possessed green skills were nearly a third more likely to be hired (29 percent) than the workforce average. 

Top 3 transformative trends shaping climate careers

Innovations, policy changes, and a growing demand for green skills are moulding today’s job market. Below, we share the three transformative trends shaping sustainability jobs.

Trend 1: The rise of green tech roles

Long associated with innovation, the technology sector is also experiencing a green revolution. Businesses are heavily investing in green technologies, which is creating a demand for data analysts, software developers, and AI specialists. They are looking for these professionals to focus on creating solutions for energy efficiency, environmental conservation, and sustainable resource management. 

The green energy sector is experiencing exponential growth across the globe. To put that into perspective, the World Energy Employment report shares that clean energy employment represents over half of total energy sector roles, having overtaken fossil fuels in 2021. The uptick of clean energy occupations has occurred in every region of the world. We can expect many of these sustainability jobs to be focused on green technologies.

Trend 2: Traditional professions embedding sustainability

The truth is that no industry can avoid all that is coming from the climate transformation. As we move to this new paradigm, everyone will have a role to play. While we certainly need new knowledge, skills, and positions, the change is already starting to occur within existing professions.

In the evolving landscape of the modern workforce, the concept of new green jobs is also gaining momentum but we are also witnessing sustainability integration in existing roles. As businesses globally pivot towards sustainability, integrating practices such as decarbonisation, circular economy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their core operations, new sustainability jobs are also being created.

Some new and interesting jobs in sustainability include urban farmers, green fashion designers, sustainability consultants, wave producers, and green home construction workers, among others. As the urgency to act on climate intensifies, we can only expect that this trend will continue. 

Trend 3: Demand for climate resilience planning

The accelerating effects of the environmental crisis have caused an increased demand for professionals to become adept at developing and implementing climate resilience strategies. Communities and businesses continue to grapple with the challenges presented by rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and a warming climate

With this, the need for skilled individuals who can carry out resilience planning and the implementation of adaptation measures has never been more critical. Moreover, these professionals are in demand for their ability to drive the sustainable growth and stability of companies in an uncertain environmental future. 

Their expertise lies in identifying vulnerabilities, crafting strategic responses, and introducing sustainability into operational frameworks. These duties are becoming very important across a range of sectors as climate resilience is needed to shape a more resilient and adaptable global economy. 

Tips for adapting to the shifts 

There’s no denying that transforming the economy to tackle climate change will be a major element over the coming years. The green transition requires employees to be equipped with the relevant skills. Below are some tips to help job seekers position themselves as valuable candidates for sustainability jobs.

Educate yourself and pursue any necessary certifications

Education is the best place to start especially with a broad and complex topic like sustainability. You could begin with some self-education on key sustainability subject matter like renewable energy, sustainable business practices, climate change, and the circular economy. Then, you could consider moving onto courses in the areas that are most relevant to your current role or the sustainability jobs you hope to obtain in the future.  

There are a plethora of sustainability courses available online and in-person all around the world that focus on different elements. At the Institute of Sustainability Studies, we offer a comprehensive Diploma in Business Sustainability course, which is delivered completely online. Our world-class faculty covers a broad range of topics, from decarbonisation to sustainability planning, biodiversity, green marketing, and more.

Get hands-on experience if possible

If possible, it is an excellent idea to get some hands-on experience to complement your sustainability education. It is experience in the field that will enable you to truly acquire and harness your green skills. If you’re currently working for a company, ask them if there are ways you can put your newfound knowledge into action. 

For those who are looking for sustainability jobs, consider volunteering or interning with an environmental startup, an NGO, or in the sustainability department of a company. Oftentimes, this experience can also lead to further opportunities.

Tap into the power of networking

Another key way to acquire the skills you need for today’s working environment is networking. It is an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals and organisations that share your values. 

Beyond this, you can learn from experts and discover sustainability jobs too. To tap into the power of networking, you can join online and in-person sustainability-focused groups and attend conferences, seminars, and events.

Develop transferable skills

It is important to remember that while green skills are required in the changing working world, traditional transferable skills are pivotal too. Skills such as project management, data analysis, and strategic thinking are highly valued in sustainability consultant jobs. With this in mind, developing and nurturing these alongside more specific green skills can enhance your employability.

Stay updated and showcase your passion

Being knowledgeable about the latest developments can also make you a more attractive candidate. Similarly, it can help you identify where your skills could be most valuable. 

To stay updated on key sustainability developments, follow industry news, trends, and research. Just as it is important to showcase your knowledge, showcasing a genuine passion for sustainability can help you stand out.

Conclusion

The job market is shifting towards sustainability and environmental responsibility. This shift is happening as the urgency for businesses to address climate change grows stronger. With this in mind, we are seeing a surge in sustainability jobs and an increasing demand for green skills. 

Whilst this demonstrates that businesses are committed, the evolving landscape has also identified a green skills shortage globally. It’s clear the future of work is climate action orientated, and so, jobseekers and professionals must be guided as to how to acquire these necessary green skills.

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