A Cleaner, Healthier Future: The World of Green MBAs

For the past ten years or so, the world has become a whole lot greener (even if we have a long way to go….). The global “green” movement has completely transformed and revamped the environment, technology, economy, and most importantly, the job market. The amount of paid, full-time positions in the green energy industry has skyrocketed in the past decade and spans a wide range of careers from electricians, to accountants, to business professionals.

Looks like the green movement isn’t just for tree-hugging vegans anymore. It’s a business. And a big business, at that. Every day more and more green companies pop up, and more and more not-so-green companies incorporate green ideas into their businesses. And what does that mean?

A lot of post-MBA job opportunity.

And a lot of MBA programs out there to prepare you.

If you’re interested in eco-conscious business, you’re in luck. B-schools all over the US have taken the initiative to offer both classes and full MBA programs with a concentration in green energy/sustainability.

So who has the best programs out there? Here are a few to choose from:

Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise is one of the best established green energy MBA programs in America. Recent alumni have gone on to become sustainability executives at companies such as Citigroup, KPMG International, and Bank of America (just to name a few).

The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at Leeds supplies internships, presentations, connections, and green energy-certified certificates to students looking to find a career in the field of business leadership. Granted, it’s not a full MBA program,  but it’s still something new and interesting to try if you find yourself at Leeds.

Duke-Fuqua’s Energy and Environment MBA Program lets students work with non-profits, pitch new ideas to big energy companies, and even hosts a Sustainable Careers Fair where students and graduates are able to talk and make connections with executives from Chevron, Exxon, and other huge energy companies.

Indiana-Kelly, Cornell-Johnson, Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford all compete in the annual International Investment Challenge for Green Energy: a competition where teams from b-schools all over the country pitch creative, innovative, and effective ideas to contribute to green energy initiatives. Even though these schools don’t offer a concentrated green MBA program yet, the opportunity to compete in this event could be a definite resume builder.

Although green MBA programs haven’t really taken off at the “top 10” b-schools, plenty of smaller, independent universities offer a variety of green energy/sustainability programs ranging from certificates to masters degrees.

Who said business people couldn’t save the world?

The Tuesday Q&A: Career Changes and the MBA Application Essay