Green Jobs are the hot topic these days -- with the economy in full meltdown and the environment looking much the same way, more and more people are looking for new jobs that benefit the planet.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of resources for job-seekers. Some, like GreenBiz.com's own job board, are relatively new, but others have been around before green jobs took hold in the public imagination.
Sarah Fister Gale spoke with Peter Beadle, the founder of GreenJobs.com -- one of the oldest sites dedicated to jobs in green companies -- about tips and tricks for people on the green job hunt.
Sarah Fister Gale: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I thought maybe we could start by having you introduce yourself and then I want to talk to you both about what Green Jobs is and then about the kind of professional jobs that you are seeing on the market right now and how our readers can position themselves for those jobs. So if you wouldn’t mind, let’s just start by introducing yourself.
Peter Beadle: Okay. Well, my name is Peter Beadle. I’ve been in the energy business for over 35 years. Twelve of those have been in solar and renewable, the last 12, of course.
I started Green Jobs about five years ago because I saw a growing need to pull people into the renewable energy industries. The industries were growing, especially wind and solar were growing at such a rate that they couldn’t possibly fuel their growth from inside.
SFG: We obviously see a lot of talk and media about green collar and opportunities for people to become installers of solar panels and some more of the construction side, but what about the professional jobs? Are you seeing growth in the area of vice-president roles or management positions that have green titles?
PB: Well, I’d start "professional" a lot lower than that because most renewable energy companies are pretty high tech. That’s not true of all of them, of course, but because some of them are simply sales activities.
Sales and installation and you can’t call those high tech, but the technology -- the ones that actually provide technology are certainly high tech, they require R&D as well as engineering.
And so, you know, that’s the first entry point for technology graduates, whether that is scientists or engineers is into R&D or manufacturing.
SFG: That’s a good point. So if I’m in college and if you’ve got people starting out or for students pursuing a degree, how do they position themselves to be attractive to this community so that they can get these jobs?
PB: Well, if you’re starting out nowadays you’ve got it easy because almost every college that you look at, and you just gotta look at the websites, has some form of renewable energy coursework.
And, you know, and you can take your pick. And so you can come out of college now with a degree that equips you for solar photovoltaics and nothing else if you want.
Or a general renewable energy degree. I mean the Europeans do what they call renewable energy masters. It’s run by the European Union, that consortium of something like eight universities contribute to it, take part in it.
And there are a variety of courses in the U.S. as well that the big universities right down to the local community colleges.