The desire to make the career transition from IT to cleantech is an extremely popular one.  The reasons are fairly obvious.  After 30 years of tremendous innovation and high growth, there appears to be less opportunity than there once was.  Whereas cleantech seems to be a area open to new out-of-the box thinking and has a landscape of great opportunity. This is the time when you can really make your mark and IT professionals seeking to make a green career transition have an advantage over many others seeking to do the same.

Network engineering and systems operations, user front-end development, software development, and embedded device development are just a few areas where  IT  professionals will find themselves in great demand.  There are skills transferability opportunities on almost every level.

Jennifer Massie, a recruiter with Redlich & Associates and moderator of  the LinkedIn Group Clean / Green Opportunity recently wrote a post on how technical professionals can transition to a cleantech career.    She emphasizes that while skills are usually transferable, the discipline is not necessarily transferable.  She recommends thoroughly researching the industry that you would like to move into to attain an understanding of the industry to which you’d like to make the transition and having a good understanding are you core competencies and how to make them relevant to these evolving industries.

Three  additional career change strategies I think IT professionals should also consider are:
1. Learn the business you are trying to transition into by seeking a job working within a the IT department of a cleantech company.
2.  Green your resume with certification or an advanced degree in the area that you are targeting.
3.  Network, network, network!

By the way, Earth2tech has a great list of 25 Who Ditched Infotech for Cleantech.  Earth2 Tech has profiles of each in which their path to cleantech is described.

If you have made the move from IT to Cleantech, please share with us how you did it in the comments section.

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© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.