How do you get to sustainability? By degrees.

Where should sustainability factor into the college education experience? And how much education about sustainability should an engineer or a marketing executive need to perform well at a company that is striving to embed sustainability into the core of their business?

These questions came to mind at a Q&A session during the recent Net Impact conference. An engineering student related frustration that her coursework in sustainability didn’t seem to mean much when talking with an HR manager at a large global corporation. As uncomfortable as it was toanswer, panelists responded that more than likely the interview had been for her role as an engineer and that when that’s the job spec, companies are interested in hiring the best engineering candidate and not the engineer with the best sustainability background.

We recently conducted a survey in partnership with the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, part of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Our goal was to get a better understanding ofhow to best structure an Executive Master's program that would provide the greatest value to its graduates.  Ultimately, we wanted to identify the general career, personal growthand sustainability-specific needs of a cross-section of people currently working in business.

The knowledgeable want more knowledge

In late June, we surveyed the GreenBiz Intelligence Panel (you can sign up to be a member here) and received 391 responses to our questions about what type of educational program prospective students would find useful for career advancement.