Whether you are an aspiring job seeker, experienced professional or even trying to decide on what to study, the green careers route is a compelling sector that cannot go unexplored. In the mid 1990’s to early 2000’s the world saw the IT sector boom. Companies doubled and tripled their revenues year on year and brand new jobs, skills and sectors were born. Then the IT bubble burst almost as quickly as it started, but make no mistake it made many people wealthy for many generations to come.
“The flattening forces make the economy more volatile, increase the speed of creative destruction, and make it more difficult for employers, students and mid-career change candidates to form long-term career expectations. Recent statistics show that eighty percent of the jobs you will have in the future don’t even exist yet.” – Mark Lautman
The world is now on the cusp of the next boom, however this one is far more sustainable at heart. The renewable and alternatively energy sector is not only rapidly expanding in both developed and developing economies, but shows no signs of slowing down. The core driver behind this sustainable growth is that the world’s thirst for energy increases every day. With every new person born, the world needs more energy and to be brutally honest, we cannot survive as a species using the incumbent fossil fuel technology. The world of energy, both how we generate it and how we use it has to change and change rapidly. The technological advancements and price optimisation currently occurring in this industry is making investments in this technology not only affordable, but some of the highest growing and lowest risk investments around. In countries like South Africa, IRRs of over 25% (high by anyone’s standards) can be achieved from solar projects, where the greatest risk is the sun not coming up in the morning. This is simply compelling.
The renewable energy sector, is not just about engineers as some would think, but requires multiple skill sets to form part of the clean energy revolution. Whether it is talents of business development professionals, artisans, engineers, technicians, IT professionals, project managers, financiers, analysts, cleaners, plant operators or maintenance technicians, the thirst for skills is enormous.
And the size of the market? – Well, that answer really is how long is a piece of string. The world as we know it must change. Everything must change otherwise we will make ourselves and many other species extinct. This change must happen to facilitate our survival both from a planetary perspective as well as an economic perspective. The growth within the green industries will drive job creation, sustainable development, new technology, new skills and ultimately drive down the poverty gap as energy becomes more affordable and accessible in all parts of the world. There are many drums that I can beat around this topic and a simple web search will show you all the opportunities that exist and will potentially exist into the future. The key is that the world needs energy and will always need energy to continue our current way of life.
How does one enter this industry you might ask? Well there are many ways, but what is key is to understand that all forms of jobs exist in this industry and all of them are at their infancy globally compared to what is to come. Read articles on sites such as Terra Firma Academy to get more insight into this industry. In South Africa, it is regarded as one of the world’s fastest growing sectors, so this country really could be a blue print for many to come.