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Green Careers + STEM: How They Relate

September 27th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Within the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) career fields, environmental careers are growing at a rapid pace.  Awareness of this torrential growth is important to prospective post-secondary students who may feel limited to the hyper competitive and super saturated conventional career tracts (doctor, lawyer, financier).  As the amount of resources at mankind’s disposal becomes more scarce, we will eventually require more professionals who understand the impact of our unsustainable attitude and actions towards the natural environment.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the acronym, STEM, here is a brief overview of its characteristics in our nation as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration:

  • In 2010, there were 7.6 million STEM workers in the United States, representing about 1 in 18 workers.
  • STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.
  • STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.
  • More than two-thirds of STEM workers have at least a college degree, compared to less than one-third of non-STEM workers.
  • STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupations.

Here are some statistics from a report done by My College Options® and STEMconnector® The student data used in this report is drawn primarily from My College Options’ annual survey of 5.5 million high school students, which covers 95% of U.S. high schools. The data for the STEM employment outlook and projections comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI):

Since 2004-within this sample group-overall interest in STEM majors and careers among high school seniors has increased by over 20%. Arguably the most concerning trend with students interested in STEM is the increasing gender-gap. Female students express STEM interest at 14.5% compared to 39.6% for their male counterparts. Since 2011, interest in STEM has grown and is projected to continue rising for Asian, Hispanic, American Indian and White students.

A sample breakdown of STEM:

This information provides a lot of insight into the opportunities that exist and are growing for a diverse array of conservation leaders to emerge and enter a “Green” job market so as to provide a stable foundation of environmental experts in the face of increasing demand for scientific and technical knowledge.


For those of you who are interested in pursuing a “Green Career”, perhaps this FREE workshop at the New York University will help you find some direction.


Earth Day New York in conjunction with the NYU Office of Sustainability presents the

Work Green / Play Green
Sustainability Conference

NYU’s Global Center
238 Thompson St.
Thursday, November 14, 2013

 Free to attend.
(Free green giveaways to be provided!)

Earth Day New York in conjunction with the NYU Office of Sustainability is launching a new student engagement conference this year titled Work Green / Play Green.  It is being designed to provide students from NYU (numbering more than 40,000), and other schools, the opportunity to learn about ways they can pursue environmentally sustainable paths in both their professional and personal lives.  The conference will bring together a variety of sustainability professionals to engage with the NYU student community around Work Green / Play Green themes with a strong focus on how to make a lifelong commitment to sustainability through both work and lifestyle choices.

GREEN CAREER PANELS:  A series of panels will introduce students to various green careers and will include representatives from business, non-profits and government.  From government leaders to environmental attorneys and scientists to marketing specialists and corporate sustainability officers, students will have the opportunity to learn from and engage with professionals who have found a way to integrate and express their personal beliefs in their work.  Speakers will include Peter Lehner (Executive Director of NRDC), Andrew Revkin (writer for the Dot Earth blog at the New York Times), and many others.

GREEN LIFESTYLE EXHIBITS:  The exhibits will provide a platform for companies to engage the NYU community around a variety of sustainable products, services, and initiatives.  The all-day exhibition area will focus primarily on green lifestyle choices (e.g., green products, environmental advocacy campaigns) provided by participating companies and organizations, while the afternoon reception and career fair will publicize various green jobs and internships.

GREEN CAREER FAIR:  Employers with job and internship opportunities related to sustainability will be in attendance to provide information on their positions and talk to interested students about their career goals.


Sample timeline for the conference:

  • 9:30 – Exhibitor area opens
  • 9:30-10:15 – Panel 1:  Sustainability in the Non-Profit Field
  • 10:30-11:15 – Panel 2:  Sustainability in Government
  • 11:30-12:15 – Panel 3:  Sustainability in Business
  • 12:30-1:30 – Keynote Speaker
  • 1:30-3:00 – Networking reception and career fair
  • 3:00 – Closing remarks and exhibitor area closes


If you’d like to get involved as an exhibitor or panelist, contact John Oppermann at joppermann@earthdayny.org.  If you’d like to attend, register here.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Leora Margelovich

    Your discussion on STEM reminds me of a course I am currently taking, called Science and Technology in NYC. The focus of the class is the importance of salt marshes. What are your thoughts on salt marshes and its benefits on our ecosystem?

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