Top specialisations for a career in sustainability

Master’s degrees and MBA programmes with a focus on sustainability is a growing field that addresses the need for green tech to tackle the current climate crisis.

By U2B Staff 

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Sustainability can be simply described as the discipline that exists where business and ethics intersect. The field of sustainability studies is generally better suited for individuals who are interested in fields that incorporate social science, ecology, and economics.

There are several pathways to major in sustainability, either through master’s studies in sustainability or through an MBA with a focus on sustainability. There are various programmes offered in the field of sustainability studies, and prospective students can choose based on interest or career goals.

For instance, sustainability programmes that are aimed towards humanities, social sciences, and planning are suitable for those who are interested to work in academia or research.

On the other hand, prospective students who aim to specialise in sustainability studies in the fields of economics, natural sciences, and engineering, are usually professionals who have planned careers in these fields.


Specialisations for a master’s studies in sustainability

Master’s degrees in sustainability studies is an interdisciplinary field. This qualification will equip students with the skills and knowledge across a broad range of areas. These areas include the science and politics of climate change, poverty and development, corporate social responsibility, ethics and focuses heavily on the impacts of business on the environment.

Master’s of sustainability programmes may be offered by various departments in a university due to its interdisciplinary nature.

The nature of the programme offers students rich, cohesive learning experiences, and departments that may offer this specialisation include anthropology, philosophy, management, economics, business, political science, environmental studies, or even art and design.

There is a multitude of benefits that come with a qualification in the field of sustainability, largely due to its interdisciplinary nature.


Master’s in environmental protection and environmental architecture

As the world is transitioning to become more environmentally aware, the need for skilled professionals working in the climate change arena is increasing.

Qualification in the areas of environmental sustainability is usually is designed as interdisciplinary fields that aim to develop understanding, appreciation, and problem-solving skills regarding the relationship and interactions between human society and the environment.

The studies will provide the interdisciplinary background that is needed to understand many of the complex challenges facing the world and explores the future of landscapes, environments, and ecosystems with relations to business.

Prospective students can also opt for a qualification in environmental law and sustainable development.

Environmental law has evolved over the years to cover more than traditional nature conservation and pollution control issues. This field now also covers the use and conservation of natural resources in relation to environmental regulation with links to human rights, trade, and intellectual property rights.

The fields focusing on environmental law has grown rapidly over the past five decades and has now become one of the key areas of both domestic and international law.

In a nutshell, the scope of environmental law covers the scope of sustainable development that captures the links between traditional environmental issues and broader development concerns.


Master’s degrees in global governance and sustainable development

Master’s in Global Governance and Sustainable Development is listed as one of the best programmes to undertake due to the rise of sustainable development as a major issue of international policy.

The demand for professionals that possesses the relevant analytical skills and knowledge to address challenges in various contexts of governing is increasing.

This is largely due to the need for professionals with this expertise to lead using global governance approaches and instruments focused on environmental sustainability and social justice.

Prospective students can also opt for master’s degrees in responsible management and sustainable economic development. This qualification focuses on the economic and management perspectives of peace while focusing on the concepts of sustainability and responsibility.

This unique qualification focuses on the promotion of sustainable peace to ensure that the economy positively impacts our environment and societies at large. This qualification addresses the issues surrounding rural and urban poverty, growing inequalities and disparities, environmental degradation, financial crises, and globalisation. All of which challenge political-economic stability and social cohesion in all societies.

Students who graduate with these qualifications or their equivalents will become leaders with a strong emphasis on sustainability and responsible management within the business context, focusing on discipline, ethics, and strategic management.


Master’s qualification in social innovation and social justice

Prospective students can also consider a Master of Arts in Social Innovation qualification that will allow them to lead social change, with the innovative vision coupled with entrepreneurial skills and a deep understanding of problem analysis and management.

This qualification looks at the root of social challenges and injustice affecting society. Professionals majoring in this qualification will be able to draft and form agenda that will drive reforms in how we address poverty, inequality, human rights and how we respond to humanitarian crises.

A master’s qualification in sustainability studies with a major in social justice will allow prospective students to work in fields related to social justice reform agendas.

MBA with specialisations in sustainability

Business schools are also moving in a similar direction, by making sustainability part of the core MBA curriculum. These MBAs are also referred to as green MBAs focus specifically on sustainability and business success and ethics, on top of the solid framework of a conventional MBA qualification.

Many business schools are offering programmes with a concentration on sustainability, and each programme differs based on specifications.  Some of these programmes are solely focused on ecological and social awareness, sustainable leadership, and progressive thinking.

There are also MBAs that focus on entrepreneurship as well as leadership skills and focus on areas of research and innovation such as green technology. MBAs specialising in social responsibility and green business are very popular and can open possibilities for various career opportunities.

These roles are open for all levels of experience and MBA holders will find themselves at an advantage. These roles include consultant for corporate responsibility and sustainability, director of sustainable strategy or sustainability analyst, and many others.

Generally, the job market for sustainability MBA holders is highly competitive and is projected to grow at a rate of five to 9% through 2026. This increase translates to close to 80, 000 jobs in the coming years.