The green jobs boom: Myth or reality?

A wind turbine. Jobs in the renewable energy sector are flourishing. Photo by: Random_fotos / CC BY-SA

Take a look at virtually any international job board and you’ll find: “Green” jobs are flourishing. Though still a niche, they’re at the cutting-edge of development assistance, providing ample opportunity for aid workers to advance sustainable growth around the world.

Green jobs come in many colors. They’re in agriculture, manufacturing, environmental conservation, and research and development. They help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy, materials and water consumption, and minimize waste and pollution.

On any given day, the Devex jobs board – the largest in international development – lists a plethora of opportunities for everyone from watershed managers to experts in reforestation, sewage and sustainable agriculture.

Particularly growing is the demand in the area of renewable energy – the United Nations declaring 2012 the “Year of Sustainable Energy for All” is evidence that this is an idea whose time has come. Recent jobs advertised on the Devex website include a senior development associate for energy and climate, impact evaluation and climate change specialists, and a senior energy economist in Iraq, among many others.

Many of these posts are for highly skilled professionals with hands-on experience in the renewable energy sector, be it in the private sector or as a government official with a track record in policymaking or oversight. But skilled project managers, economists and finance experts with international experience can also make the jump to a clean energy career, insiders say. For younger professionals and those eager to shift career tracks, there are master’s degrees and advanced training courses that didn’t exist even a few years ago.

Find out more about the international job boom in renewable energy and what opportunities it may hold for you, and read our last Career Matters.

About the author

  • Paul Hockenos

    Paul is a Berlin-based author who has written about Europe since 1989 and is the author of three major books on European politics. From 1997-99 he worked with the international mission in Bosnia and 2003-04 in Kosovo. Since then, Paul has held fellowships with the American Academy in Berlin, the European Journalism College in Berlin, and the German Marshall Fund. He was an editor at Internationale Politik, Germany’s leading foreign affairs journal, for five years.