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Career opportunities in the environmental industry

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clean energy investment rise - Don Graham via Flickr

Environmental work is a rapidly growing field, as every corner of our working world recognises the need for improved sustainability and greener working practises. At the same time, there are more opportunities than ever for those who want to go out into the natural world to study it, especially with a view to protecting it from destruction. In addition, as traditional professions such as mining become increasingly obsolete, largely due to environmental concerns, they are often replaced by new professions based around sustainability and conserving our resources.

A world of choice

The environmental industry covers a hugely wide range of job roles. One aspect for instance is the green or renewable energy sector. This in itself encompasses research science, engineering, management, computer programming and administration among other roles. Consulting positions, helping existing companies to manage their resources in a more environmentally friendly way, are also important.

Gaining qualifications

The first step in pursuing an environmental industry career should be to get the necessary qualifications via a university degree course. Again, the type of course depends on what sort of job role you are seeking. Physics, engineering, computer science, geology or almost any kind of practical degree can set you up to work in an area of the environmental industry. The course you take needn’t be ‘green’ in itself for it to train you to work in a green capacity.

As well as choosing the right course, make sure that you choose the right university for your needs. A recent claim that university league tables are elitist and biased highlights the fact that those institutions with the highest ranking may not necessarily provide the best all-round educational experience. Especially for mature students, disabled students and even those from state schools, league tables do not always reflect the quality of the teaching and the overall inclusiveness of the university culture. Lower ranking universities may turn out fewer academic high fliers, but may still provide excellent courses that are enormously beneficial to a wider range of students.

Entering the workplace

You may want to follow your degree with a more specialist vocational course, or a Master’s. Alternatively, you may be ready to go straight into the workplace. Local government often has vacancies in environmental policy, planning and management, or you could do voluntary work for an environmental charity in order to gain experience. If you are going into a branch of environmental science, you may find a starting role with a large company or academic institution. They may even be able to sponsor you as you study to gain further qualifications.

At some point you may also decide you want to set up on your own as a freelance environmental consultant. This has many advantages, but you will be in a better position to grasp them if you’ve worked for an established business or institution for some time first. There are also advantages to be gained from moving around, trying out different job roles and developing new skills, before settling into your true career.

Whatever specialism you choose, the environmental industry is extremely rewarding to work in. Not only can it provide personal job satisfaction, but you’ll also know that you’re doing your bit to save the planet at the same time.

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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