Not only are colleges and universities leading the country in the construction of environmentally friendly buildings, they’re planting the seeds (pun intended) for a green way of life for a whole generation of students. Recent college graduates, coming straight out of an eco-conscious college experience, are entering the job market with green on the mind.
Nearly four out of five college students and recent grads said they would choose a green company over another company if the job offers were similar, in response to a survey conducted in April by Experience, Inc., a provider of career and e-recruiting services. Of the almost 2,800 students and grads who responded to the survey, 81 percent believe it’s important to work for a green company, and 16 percent already currently work or intern at a green company.
Green-Collar Jobs on the Rise
Green industries and the number of “green-collar jobs” are proliferating alongside college graduates’ growing interest in doing green work.
According to the American Solar Energy Society, renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in the United States currently generate nearly $1 trillion in revenue and provide 8.5 million jobs. The nonprofit organization estimates that by 2030, one in four U.S. workers will be employed in a renewable energy or energy efficiency field.
“The green-collar job boom is here,” says Neal Lurie, the ASES director of marketing. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency are economic powerhouses.”
Companies Will Need to Take Heed of an Environmentally Conscious Workforce
The results of the Experience poll point to the fact that if U.S. companies want to attract the college graduates of Generation Y, these businesses are going to need to tout their commitment to the environment.
“Millennials are the new face of today’s workforce,” says Jenny Floren, founder and CEO of Experience. “Companies should clearly communicate their environmental commitments and socially responsible practices throughout all recruiting programs to attract the best talent.”
As the green movement gains a stronger foothold in corporate America and as businesses face increasing pressure to go green, don’t hesitate to make your eco-mindedness known when you hit the job trail. Mention your interest in working for a green company on your résumé or in your cover letter. In your interviews, when it’s your turn to ask questions, ask what green initiatives the company’s undertaking and what its long-term plans are, if any, to reduce its carbon footprint and continue on an environmentally responsible business plan.
If you’ve got your sights set on a company that’s specifically targeting carbon-conscious grads like you, check out our other post this week on top green jobs for college grads for a look at some of the fastest-growing green-collar jobs out there.