Thinking About a Green MBA?

Are you a recent graduate discovering how difficult the current market is, unemployed, worried you might soon lose your job or just feel that your career seems stuck in place? Are you thinking that now may be the best time to re-tool your career? Going for a green MBA, now, while the job market is stagnant may be a smart move; both for recent graduates, currently unemployed (or underemployed) professionals as well as for those who want to forge a path into a career in corporate sustainability. But what is a Green MBA, why is it important and what schools are offering them? These are the questions this post delves into.

Why a Green MBA Is Important

More and more companies are taking corporate sustainability and environmental practices seriously. Companies are discovering that an approach to business that factors in sustainability can not only be good for the earth, but can also have a positive impact on the bottom line as well as build the company’s green brand. For example, in an Arthur D. Little survey of 481 companies, 95% of responding executives counted sustainable development as important to their business future.  With the world turning its attention to the environment, companies across the country are spending more time focusing on creating and implementing green programs.  The perfect storm of emerging regulations, increased requirements for reporting and transparency, heightened pressure from investors, energy price volatility and market demands for green products and technologies is driving Sustainability as a business imperative.

This has created a growing need for a new generation of business leaders with a focus on corporate sustainable practices. This is backed up by the CSR Jobs Report, jointly released in 2008 by Net Impact and Ellen Weinreb CSR Recruiting, which found that the number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) job postings has increased by 37 percent in a three-and-a-half-year period, based on an analysis of 1,255 CSR job openings posted between January 2004 and June 2007. The report also found that that demand for CSR MBA level candidates still outpaces supply.

A recent GreenBiz survey of more than 600 companies found that these organizations are increasing their hiring of environmental and sustainability professionals while other departments are contracting. The number of large companies citing open positions and plans to increase staff doubled from 8 percent in late 2008 to 17 percent this summer.  Backing up those figures is a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder,  which revealed that one-in-ten employers have added green jobs, in the last 12 months.

While hiring has been dismal in all areas, according to Green Dream Jobs and green workforce development consultant Jim Cassio the the green job announcements most frequently posted are those jobs often held by people with green MBAs. The MBA titles that where among the top 20 jobs are: Executive Director, Nonprofit; Project Leader/Manager; Sustainability Program Director/Manager; Marketing Manager/Coordinator; Business/Data Analyst; Research Analyst/Manager; Account Executive/Manager, Sales; Sustainability Analyst/Consultant; and Operations Manager. Despite the bleak job market, energy efficiency companies are hiring and clean tech jobs are starting to replace old jobs that have been lost.

What is a Green MBA?

A Green MBA is basically a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus or concentration on corporate sustainability in addition to the core MBA curriculum. Like traditional MBA’s it is granted after one to two years of graduate-level university study that provides training in the theory and practice of business management with a focus on managing the enterprise in a sustainable fashion. This includes managing the environmental impact of the business, increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste, finding ways to promote sustainable practices in all aspects of the business from product development, to supply chain, production, packaging, distribution and marketing.

The green MBA, also called a “sustainable business degree” teaches an approach to business that changes the focus of business from short term financial gains only, to a long term appreciation of economic, social and natural capital; often called the triple bottom line. The phrase: profits, people and planet also evokes this broader metric for measuring a business’s long term success. The green management philosophy taught seeks to position the enterprise for long term success, by finding ways to use less energy and material, become more efficient, less wasteful and resourceful in how it does business.

The Number of Schools Offering Green MBAs Is Increasing

As interest rises in corporate sustainability an increasing number of universities are offering Master’s of Business Administration degree programs that have a focus on sustainability. These degree programs as well as certificate programs can have several more specific areas of concentration and are also available online for those students who wish to explore this option.  In the past few months, several green MBA programs have been established. They include the Clark University Dual MBA/MA in Environmental Science and Policy; Marylhurst MBA in Sustainable Business; City University of Seattle MBA in Sustainable Business; and the Concordia University Wisconsin MBA with a Concentration in Environmental Studies.

In order to help our readers find a school with the kind of Green MBA Program that they are looking for Green Economy Post has published the Green MBA Program Directory, an up to date comprehensive guide to Green MBA degrees and certificates around the country. It features profiles of over 80 Green MBA, Dual Degree and Certificate Programs from across the United States as well as from institutions offering online Green MBA Programs. This guide is continually updated as we find out about new Green MBA programs. The Green MBA Program Directory currently lists Green MBA programs found in 25 states including: Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

These increasingly widely available Green MBA programs all seek to develop a core competency in sustainable management and in business management in general. In addition many of these programs also have specific concentrations that range from renewable energy to social and environmental responsibility, sustainable supply chains, marketing in a new economy, environmental accounting, and sustainability and business opportunity.

Conclusion

As ever more corporations begin to focus on strategies to gain competitive advantage through environmentally sustainable practices, such as carbon reduction, energy efficiency and clean technologies and discover that considerable opportunities to save money exist by doing so they will need business leaders who can lead in these efforts and who understand the issues and opportunities that exist. A degree in a Green MBA positions one to become a leader in this exciting transformation of the way business is being conducted around the world. It can help those who are driven to achieve help make this world a better place while they help their enterprises turn a long term sustainable profit.

FEATURED GREEN MBA PROGRAM
Argosy University Master of Business Administration - Sustainable Management Concentration. Argosy's Master of Business Administration (MBA) online program offered by the College of Business emphasizes leadership, action, and solutions. The Sustainable Management concentration stresses the development and implementation of sustainable business practices to create a competitive advantage. Our program enhances your professional abilities and gives you the skills sought by contemporary businesses. You can learn to identify challenges and opportunities, draw on technology and information, and use advanced analytical and planning approaches that position you to create positive changes for an organization. Click here, for more information about the Argosy University Master of Business Administration - Sustainable Management Concentration
Argosy University Master of Business Administration – Sustainable Management Concentration. Argosy’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) online program offered by the College of Business emphasizes leadership, action, and solutions. The Sustainable Management concentration stresses the development and implementation of sustainable business practices to create a competitive advantage. Our program enhances your professional abilities and gives you the skills sought by contemporary businesses. You can learn to identify challenges and opportunities, draw on technology and information, and use advanced analytical and planning approaches that position you to create positive changes for an organization. Click here, for more information about the Argosy University Master of Business Administration – Sustainable Management Concentration.

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Author: Chris de Morsella (146 Articles)

After a decade performing as a lead guitarist for rock bands, Chris de Morsella decided to return to the career his uncle mentored him in as a youth....Software Engineering. Since that time he has thrown himself into his work. He has designed a compound document publishing architecture for regulatory submissions capable of handling very large multi-document FDA regulatory drug approval submissions, for Liquent, a division of Thompson Publishing. At the Associated Press, Chris worked with senior editors at facilities around the world, to develop a solution for replacing existing editorial systems with an integrated international content management solution. He lead the design effort at Microsoft for a help system for mobile devices designed to provide contextual help for users. Chris also helped to develop the web assisted installer for LifeCam2.0, the software for Microsoft’s web cam and developed late breaking features for the product He also served with the Rhapsody client team to redesign and build a major new release of Real Networks Rhapsody client product. His most recent assignment has been Working with the Outlook Mobile Time Management team for the next release of Outlook Mobile for the SmartPhone. Chris' interests are in green building and architecture, smart grid, the cloud, geo-thermal energy, solar energy, smart growth, organic farming and permaculture. Follow Chris on Twitter.

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  • Rhonda

    I have seen this increase in “Green” education – both certification, MPA and MBA . However, how does a person find funding for the education? Are there any grants available?

    • http://sustainability.lipscomb.edu/ Dodd Galbreath, Lipscomb SU MBA and MS

      Graduate school is considered a value-added degree. Master’s degrees routinely add higher salary levels to your future pay. That is why most grad schools only offer federal low interest loans. Research dollars are available from grad institutions that do research but those degrees usually take 2 years to complete instead of one. The opportunity cost can sometimes be the same or more, depending on what you could be making in that second year if you already had a degree in one year.

  • Tom

    Thank you for the link to the Green MBA Program Directory. Are you looking at all at schools outside of the US that are offering green MBAs? Do you know of a similar directory that includes schools abroad? Thanks.

  • franchon beeks

    please be advised that Wilmington University in New Castle DE starts its first Green MBA program this fall. I am excited. Because of the offering, i decided to go back to school to complete my bachelor’s degree with the hope & expectation to get into the Green MBA program next fall.