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Rewarding Careers in Sustainable Business

There are a wide variety of opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career within sustainability. It is important to remember that many of these fields are fairly new and with proper planning and initiative any student can break into them, regardless of his/her major. Explore "Green Business Majors" on the left hand side of the page to see how your businesses major could be the right fit for a career in sustainable business. 

Nathan R. Miller Center for Career Services

The Office of Sustainability works jointly with Bentley's Nathan R. Miller Center for Career Service's to provide students with information on careers sustainable business.  After exploring the information provided on these pages, be sure to contact Bentley's Career Services Office for assistance with job searches, resumes, cover letters and career fairs!

Government Policies Spurring Growth in Green Markets

There is an exceptionally large need for the government to enact policies that will encourage the development of low carbon industries and provide incentive for businesses to become more sustainable. The most promising policy that would unlock substantial innovation towards solving climate change is putting a price on carbon. This may be done through a cap and trade mechanism or a tax on carbon. Putting aside the larger economic issues that would go into deciding which mechanism would be most beneficial; either mechanism would create massive investment in low carbon energy development, energy efficiency, and virtually any other climate based industry. Due to the immense need to solve climate change, international political pressure and even pressure from some large corporations, there is a very high probability that such a policy will be enacted within the next couple years, if not sooner. If you are interested in any career in the sustainability market you must keep an eye on government policy because it holds massive potential, not only to solve climate change, but to make money in sustainability.

Sustainability Entering the C-Suites of Large Corporations

As corporations continue to see value in sustainable business many may seek to create sustainability specific positions. Currently, organizations who do have positions with a sustainability title generally only promote those jobs from within their current organization because most of the time the sustainability title is an add-on to a person’s job description, like "Director of Marketing and Sustainability." Thus the person with the title generally has little working knowledge about sustainability and has to educate themselves before they can actually build strong initiatives. As more companies begin to realize the true complexity of integrating sustainability into an organizational structure there is a high probability that they will opt to hire people who already have experience in sustainability. As it becomes more mainstream to create sustainability specific positions, there is a good probability that effective sustainability personnel will be given the chance to rise to the C-suite level as a "Chief Sustainability Officer." In fact, this trend has already started as SAP, Sun Microsystems, Georgia Pacific and Du Pont already have Chief Sustainability officers.

Start-ups Driving Sustainable Change and Creating Sustainable-Minded Jobs

The increase in consumer interest in sustainable products and services has lead to an explosion of sustainability oriented startup companies. Many organizations such as Stonyfield Farms, Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Method have been created to challenge the status quo in their respective industries and have achieved phenomenal success. Based on their success many new players, in a wide variety of industries, have started to challenge "business as usual" in virtually every industry. This wave of activity means there are a large amount of organizations that are in their growth phase and thus looking to hire talented people. These organizations typically value young and innovative business people who bring fresh thoughts right out of the university. In return, these companies generally provide a fun and exciting work environment. Therefore, startups offer a great opportunity for Bentley students to get in at the ground level of a quickly growing company.

That being said, choosing and working for a startup company is much different than taking a job with an established corporation. In order to thrive in a startup environment you must be very entrepreneurial, self-directed, willing to work long hours and willing to take a risk on an unproven company. You must also be very critical of the business model and the people who have started the company. Many startups fail and in order to shield yourself from that risk you must chose an organization that you truly believe in.