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Green Giant or Little Green Sprout?

Thoughts on the rising trend of green-collar jobs from TheLadders’ editor-in-chief

By Matthew Rothenberg
FILED UNDER: Job Requirements.
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What’s not to like about the promise of green industry? Any current or future residents of this planet can probably appreciate the desire to grow business processes and industries that consume fewer natural resources and pump out fewer pollutants.

And for job seekers in a range of industries, the prospect of fresh new careers focused on sustainability may sound like a great opportunity to do well while doing good.

But how much difference will green-collar jobs really make to senior executive talent in the U.S., at least in the short term?

TheLadders’ Kevin Fogarty set out to answer that question by speaking with a variety of recruiters and industry experts. The consensus: While U.S. business will take on a greener cast in the coming years – requiring a set of new skills and competencies — a bumper crop of brand-new “green jobs” is unlikely to end the current employment dry spell, at least on its own.

Here are a few of the trends we've been seeing at TheLadders:

Fastest-Growing Green Industries

 Green Jobs

Most in-demand green skills

But overall, what we're hearing from experts is this: "If you want to work in sustainability within a corporation, you still have to have a skill that is fundamental to the economy," G. Dodd Galbreath, executive director at the Institute for Sustainable Practice and assistant professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., told Fogarty. "You have to marry it to accounting or architecture or product design or manufacturing or real estate or development and construction –  something that has been sustainable as a business in itself across modern history. “

Matthew Rothenberg is the Editorial Director of TheLadders.

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