Careers in Sustainability
Graduates of Colorado Mountain College’s Bachelor of Arts degree program in Sustainability Studies have many career opportunities. Our students undertake a rigorous program of study that prepares them to understand many complex challenges and opportunities relevant to building a more sustainable local and global society. Our graduates work toward achieving economic and social vitality within a context of a healthy environment. Through cutting edge coursework, extracurricular activities, internships, research projects, and more, CMC provides Sustainability Studies graduates a platform to become successful sustainability professionals.
The following guide offers a sampling of resources to help graduates as well as prospective and current students begin to explore career options. Paid and unpaid internships and volunteer opportunities offer emerging sustainability professionals the opportunity to hone their skills and develop experience relevant to paid employment in sustainability. Therefore, this site offers access to information on both paid and unpaid employment as well as internships and volunteer opportunities. It also offers access to general career advice for those seeking sustainability-oriented employment.
Sustainability Career Advice and Options
- Career Services at CMC: Describes the services available to you as a CMC student or graduate. Go to For Students/Preparation for advice on resume and cover letter writing, networking and more.
- Best Green Jobs Meta-list: 56 Top Green Careers Recommended by 12 Authoritative Sources from The Green Economy Post: An excellent starting point for understanding the breadth of career options open to Sustainability Studies graduates. Some careers listed require training and/or experience beyond what the typical graduate of our program will have. Since sustainability is such a broad concept and practice, know that this is far from a complete list of options for our graduates.
- Steps to Your Green Career from Green Career Central: A helpful resource as you determine your goals and priorities for developing your sustainability career. The site will also help you to determine where you are in your career development so that you can plan the next steps to take.
Job and Internship Posting Sites
- CMC Student Jobs Board: Employment listings for current students and graduates in many fields.
- Acre: Sustainability and environmentally oriented job postings; includes positions in corporate social responsibility.
- EcoEmploy Environmental Jobs and Careers: Job postings and career advice/tips; includes an option to search geographically by U.S. state to locate employment websites for environmentally focused companies and organizations; option available to receive e-mailed alerts of new postings.
- Green Dream Jobs: Job and internship postings; searchable by city, U.S. state, skill level (including “internship”), designated categories of jobs, and/or keyword.
- GreenJobSearch: Extensive listing of green jobs and internships; searchable by keyword, designated categories of jobs, state, and/or zip code.
- Guide to Green Careers: Offers job and internship postings as well as very helpful general advice about sustainability-oriented careers and career development.
- Orion Grassroots Network: Postings for sustainability-oriented internships and regular employment; includes an option to sign up for e-mailed job alerts.
- B Corp Jobs Board: Benefit corporations or “B Corps” are businesses that have included in their charters institutional missions that go beyond simply making profit. These organizations are in the business of benefiting society and/or the environment in addition to making money.
Database of Sustainability Related Academic Programs
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) provides a database of academic programs that emphasize one or more aspect of sustainability. This database is a good place to start if you are searching for information about graduate degrees (Masters’s and Ph.D. programs) that you might pursue beyond graduation with your B.A. in Sustainability Studies from CMC.
Developing Skills and Making Connections for Your Sustainability Career
Although an internship course experience is not required for graduation, an internship can be an especially valuable way to develop your professional skills and resume. A number of CMC Sustainability Studies graduates have obtained paid employment with organizations for which they served as interns. Others have landed sustainability jobs with other organizations based on the skills they developed as interns.
In order to learn more about specific internship opportunities available in your local community, talk with one or more of your professors about your interests, the kind of experience you’re seeking, and organizations you might approach about arranging an internship. You can learn more online about the internship program at CMC. Also, be on the lookout for emailed announcements about summer internship opportunities — local, in-state, across the U.S., and international — and use the job and internship posting sites listed in this guide as a start to searching for these opportunities on your own.
As a student in Sustainability Studies at CMC, you’ll hear in your classes, from student clubs, and through e-mailed communications about many opportunities to volunteer to assist with events and projects of local nonprofits, businesses, schools, and municipal governments. Volunteering offers you valuable real world experience that can help you build an excellent resume as well as an excellent opportunity to expand your professional network. Volunteering is a great way to put your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in sustainability all around you, and serving as a volunteer helps you learn by doing about what it takes make things happen in the realm of sustainability. So don’t be a stranger in your local sustainability community! Volunteer, and begin to work your way along your sustainability career path.
Student clubs are a particularly effective way to develop your personal and professional network and to gain project and leadership experience. Clubs are also fun! They offer you a way to connect with other students who have similar interests to your own, and clubs are vehicles for doing sustainability work that’s personally enriching and professionally relevant. If there’s a club fair at your campus, be sure to attend so you learn about all of the clubs related to sustainability that are active on your campus. Learn more online about sustainability-oriented clubs, and ask your professors and other students about opportunities to participate in student clubs. Club participation and leadership are excellent professional development experiences that are valuable to include on your resume.