These environmental studies can help you get a green job in Canada

Nearly a decade ago, green jobs like energy management did not exist. However, with many countries such as Canada and the UK having declared a national climate emergency, sustainability is becoming increasingly top of mind for industry, government, consumers, and more.

As a leader in sustainability research and education through partnerships with industry, BCIT is providing the environmental studies needed to fill the spectrum of green jobs that are emerging across industries. Whether it’s a career in the field of business, health sciences, or natural resources, green jobs are in every corner of the market and here are several programs to help prepare you for a fulfilling and sustainable career.

SEE MORE: What’s the difference between a polytechnic and a university?

1. Ecological Restoration

Ecosystems are complex. You can’t just focus on the trees when the whole forest is interconnected, from the soil and plants to the water and wildlife. That’s why the world needs more multidisciplinary experts to help protect the environment.

It’s also why BCIT has created a degree track in this field, which is the first of its kind in Canada. Students can earn credentials in the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation or Forest and Natural Areas Management programs, and expand their environmental education to receive both a diploma and a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecological Restoration in just four years. With this, you’ll have the knowledge and skills necessary to rejuvenate and protect natural systems all over the world.

2. Sustainable Energy Management

Students in the Sustainable Energy Management program acquire skills and knowledge to work in many governmental energy or energy-related agencies.

The world’s growing energy consumption and dependency on fossil fuels are driving climate change, and finding alternatives is essential. It’s also a lucrative area of employment, particularly with Vancouver’s sustainability leadership in green buildings and energy management.

The BCIT School of Construction and the Environment’s advanced certificate in Sustainable Energy Management equips students for this evolving field. The program consists of nine online courses, making it a top choice for students and professionals alike, and is presented in partnership with BC Hydro and FortisBC with support from Natural Resources Canada.

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3. Environmental Engineering

With emerging opportunities relating to renewable energy and resources, managing and mitigating waste, and ensuring the quality of our land, water, and air, it’s a good idea to hone your skills and specialize in an area that matters.

This is the goal of the Environmental Engineering program at BCIT. With expertise and industry connections in building science and high performance building construction, the School of Construction and the Environment gives you the chance to take a mix of management, communication, applied environmental engineering, and general education courses along with your foundational studies. The final capstone project lets you focus on the issues and industries that interest you most, so that you graduate from the program well-rounded and ready to be a part of the next generation of ecocity builders and sustainability leaders. 

4. Forest and Natural Areas Management

The Forest and Natural Areas Management program at BCIT provides students with the knowledge they need to keep our ecosystems pristine.

We need to preserve natural spaces—not only for protection from heat waves and floods, but also for the physical and psychological benefits they bring. However, urbanization is putting increasing pressure on environmental systems.

The two-year diploma program in Forest and Natural Areas Management at BCIT provides students with the knowledge they need to keep our ecosystems pristine. From arboriculture and silviculture to forest engineering and inventory, we depend on nature’s resources, and we need skilled stewards to help us use them wisely.

5. Chemical and Environmental Technology

There are many ways organizations can create a more sustainable future—including how they test and analyze substances, reduce runoff, recycle materials, and conduct quality assurance.

The two-year Chemical and Environmental Technology diploma program prepares students with the experience and research skills they need to help companies in every industry make more informed, environmentally responsible decisions. Emerging green technology enterprises are also eager to recruit, so there are lots of opportunities for graduates at pharmaceutical companies, engineering firms, recycling plants and more.

6. Environmental Health

A healthy environment supports healthy people—the two are interrelated. That’s why it’s so important to have health inspectors who can help to ensure the safety of the community, keeping pests, pollution, and pathogens in check.

The BCIT Environmental Health program is built for this. The two-year Bachelor of Technology program combines theory and practice through small classes and opportunities for applied, experiential learning. 

7. Sustainable Business Leadership

People shouldn’t have to choose between a healthy economy and healthy ecology. That’s why we’re seeing a rise in corporate social responsibility and ethical enterprise, with businesses investing in both community and environmental initiatives. Companies are looking to help solve the world’s problems and mitigate their own footprints—and you can help.

The advanced certificate in Sustainable Business Leadership is the only program of its kind in the province. It can be completed in as little as nine months, and if you choose to pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration at BCIT, it can count towards your degree credits.

8. Sustainable Event Management

Whether it’s a wedding, an open-air concert, or an experiential marketing campaign, events happen every day. But they also tend to generate a lot of needless waste, so there’s a massive need to greenify them.

This is where Sustainable Event Management enters the picture. The certificate program readies you for every aspect of the event production process, with a special emphasis on making them as ethical and sustainable as possible. This leads to many career opportunities, as well as options to take your training to the next level as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).

9. Computer Systems Technology

The two-year Computer Systems Technology diploma at BCIT allows students to build apps to support green initiatives of the future.

There’s a new trend in urban planning: smart cities. Proponents envision a future where efficient, cutting-edge green technologies connect sustainable, environmentally-friendly communities. All of that has to be underpinned with software development and computer science.

That’s why the two-year Computer Systems Technology diploma at BCIT gives you a chance to build apps that will support the green initiatives of the future. Of course, the ability to develop software is in high-demand in all industries, giving graduates ample choice of where to work.

Sustainability is no longer just a lifestyle or trend: it’s critical to our success going forward. Thankfully, this has given rise to exciting new prospects that allow you to make a living while ensuring a healthy, productive environment for future generations. 

BCIT remains committed to delivering the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that our learners expect from a BCIT credential. Over half of BCIT programs will be delivered online in Fall 2020, while some programs and courses that include components requiring hands-on learning will be delivered in a blended learning model. Delivery mode will vary by program, depending on the degree of learning that requires the use of specific equipment, tools, or facilities that cannot be replicated in an online environment. Register for an upcoming online information session and learn more about your program of interest.

SEE MORE: How BCIT Rivers Institute is protecting and restoring BC waterways, lakes, and wetlands

(Note: This article was last updated in December 2020)

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