The United States stands in prime position to emerge as a global clean technology leader over the next ten years, according to the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Index. The index evaluated 40 countries against 15 indicators focusing on creation, commercialization and growth of the clean tech sector for each nation. According to last year’s findings, the U.S. currently sits behind two countries, Israel and Finland, as the third most likely country to excel in the market.
The country earned high marks for its clean tech startups attracting a growing number of investments and investors from government, private business and venture capital. However, the Index noted that the U.S. and other top-10 countries face a high hurdle when it comes to increasing commercialization rates. While the U.S. faces this issue, job seekers looking to break into the boom market have several options and avenues when it comes to making their impact.
For some outside the clean tech sphere, they may not realize that jobs aren’t just opening for skilled geoscientists and environmental engineers. Those jobs certainly made the top 10 list of growing jobs in the market, but so do traditional blue collar jobs. Craftspeople skilled in carpentry, pipefitting and electrical work are just a few that could find job prospects, and bank accounts, gain over the next few years.
As is the case with any booming sector, the surge in job openings will almost assuredly bring in an influx of applicants as well. The classic way of getting hired, being the most knowledgeable and diligent applicant, certainly will amplify your name in the job market. However, that may not be enough, as strategy plays a key role in finding your niche in the sector.
One point that can go overlooked by job seekers is that just because this sector is fairly new doesn’t mean the wheel has to get reinvented. If you have qualifiable experience in areas such as sales, marketing and financial roles, you are likely ahead of a large crop of the competition. If your knowledge of the sector matches your skill set, a career in clean tech could start sooner than later. Conversely, green tech companies are far from the only game in town. If you are a jobseeker looking to positively impact the environment but don’t necessarily feel the demand to work in the new sector, you have options as well. Across government, private and public sectors, the sustainability movement continues to ramp up. With that being so, careers ranging from legal to overall sustainability are becoming mainstays on job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed and more niche websites in the vein of Idealist.
Another reality of joining an emerging sector, on occasion, means having to move to be where the action is. Depending on where and what you want to work on, you may find yourself on the move. As wind energy increases across the country, Texas should be the first place to look as The Lone Star State leads the nation in wind energy production. Additionally, thriving metro areas embrace the movement due to the city’s thriving income and need for updates across several pressing urban needs. By targeting your search, you are able to know where the most action is in the field you want to work in–likely honing in your focus for a more effective job search.
In addition to the aforementioned job boards, clean tech continues to rely on tried and true methods as well. Beyond the job boards, the industry finds its talent through conventional professional means like networking and volunteering. Volunteering could be the fastest, most immersive way to establish a name for yourself in a field you may not have much experience in to date. When schooling can become costly and time consuming, though incredibly beneficial, a hands-on experience could accelerate your prospects to entering the green career you have strived for.