Careers and Internships

A picture of someone taking a photo of a graduate and her family during a commencement ceremony celebration

At least 3.1 million Americans are employed in green jobs, a sector that now accounts for about 2.4 percent of the nation's total employment. A 2008 report for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Mayors Climate Protection Center projected 2.5 million new green jobs in the energy sector of the U.S. economy alone by 2018 (330% more than estimated to exist at the time the report was issued).

Total projected new jobs by 2028 was 3.5 million (+466% vs. 2008) with an additional 4.2 million new jobs by 2038 (+560%). For the metropolitan areas of Ohio, the projected growth was higher than the national average, an increase of 780% in new green jobs by 2038, and the Cincinnati metro region had almost 800% projected growth.

With respect to prospective careers for students majoring in economic sustainability, there is job growth potential in a variety of relevant job categories, such as Sustainability Coordinator, Sustainability Manager, Sustainability Consultant, Sustainability Consulting Analyst, and Environmental Analyst, as well as more general categories (Economist, Market Research Analyst, Survey Researcher, Economics Teacher, Consultant).

For WCB graduates overall, the average starting salary for the class of 2010: $41,057 and 90 percent were employed full-time or enrolled in graduate studies within 180 days of graduation; 72 percent secured a job prior to graduation. Eighty-one percent of WCB graduates completed internships during college.


Matt Begley worked at Roppe Holding Company: "At my internship I was in charge of the GRI sustainability report for Roppe Holding company. In order to do this I had to gather data, conduct a materiality assessment, and assist with the auditing process of NSF 332(national science foundation). This is a sustainability certification for resilient flooring. This data includes everything from energy usage, financial data, return to work rates, and more. The sustainability report lets the customers and stakeholders know Roppe holding company's stance on environmental, economical, and social issues in the world. I conducted a materiality assessment by surveying external and internal stakeholders. A stakeholder in this sense is someone who has a interest in the business. This could be the customers, CEO, and employees. With the survey I analyzed the data and saw which components the company's management should call material or relevant. These are issues that concern both internal and external stakeholders and the company will focus on. I assisted with the auditing process by organizing the data and information that I was using for the sustainabiltiy report. I also got to tour many of the facilities in the Ohio area. This includes their rubber flooring facility and Seneca Mill works. I learned how a good company culture filled with organized people drives the company's success."

Lauren Ghidotti is a Sustainability: Economics and Management major and summer of 2015 interned at the architecture firm, Moody Nolan. She researched incentive opportunities for LEED buildings in Columbus, looked at 20 different architecture firms sustainability web pages, and signed Moody Nolan up for the AIA 2030 commitment. She also worked on collecting data about the company in order to sign up for AIA. Her experience "gave [her] a real look at the difficulties in walking the talk for sustainability. [She] is grateful for the opportunity to come back to study sustainability at Xavier with new eyes thanks to that internship". She graduated in the Spring of 2018 and will work for NextEra Energy in a Finance rotational position.

Emily Mulligan is a recent Sustainability: Economics and Management graduate. She got some great internship experience while at Xavier working at Williams Creek Consulting, an ecological engineering and design firm, where she learned about LEED certifications, and Dow Agro Sciences, LLC where she worked in intellectual property portfolio management. In 2015, she had a paid internship with the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon where she organized collaborations to meet the Council for Responsible Sport green certifications and coordinated volunteers and all recycling, terracyling, and compost stations.

Olivia Capannari graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability: Economics and Management and a minor in Environmental Studies. She had several internships. She was a Human Resources and Legal Administration Intern at Sirrus Chemistry (a start up in Loveland, Ohio), a Product Specialist at Tesla Motors, and an Operations Management Consulting intern at TiER1 Performance Solutions.

Click these state-specific links to learn about Green Jobs in these states:

Click on any of the logos in the collage below to explore more career opportunities in sustainability and economics: