Luckily for them, their ideals have a home: the green job market is growing fast. The Global Commission on the Future of Work expects the creation of 24m new green jobs worldwide over the next 10 years.
“There are an awful lot of opportunities outside of the traditional ‘green’ companies, or on graduate schemes, where you get an all-round understanding of what (sustainably-focused) companies are doing, with the chance to specialise later,” says Kim Connor Streich, marketing director at Debut, a graduate recruitment app.
From sustainable fashion to vegan food, there are opportunities not only in big brands, but also in the public sector, non-governmental organisations, industry associations, and consulting.
“Part of the challenge in finding the right role in the green economy is how broad the sector is”, says Shannon Houde, a career and executive coach for the impact sector and author of Good Work: How to Build a Career that Makes a Difference in the World.
“I break it down into five key categories: corporate responsibility and sustainability; social impact and international trade and development; sustainable finance and responsible investment; environmental (for example, renewable energy); and smart cities and food.”
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects graduates will be a key piece in this green revolution.
“STEM is always a labour of the heart,” says Shannon. “It’s problem solving and it’s teamwork.”
Part of Shannon’s mission is encouraging young people to appreciate the range of skills that will be needed in a green future.
“The real power is in the cross-discipline nature of what we do. STEM skills are absolutely going to be at the heart of the green economy, but the ability to communicate and translate those ideas is really important [as well].”
Debut app found that 89% of female and 80% of male students and graduates want to work for an organisation that takes sustainability seriously.
The increasing interest from graduates in subjects such as waste recycling, renewable energy and green investment is a clear sign that a new generation of jobseekers is after jobs with well-established environmental policies.
Luckily, the green job market is also looking for fresh pairs of eyes.