Many universities now offer majors focused on sustainability. Even if you're not a die-hard environmentalist, a green major can be a savvy choice. After all, the green movement offers diverse career opportunities from product design to consulting and lobbying.
Here are ten of the hottest green majors around:
Bioethics is the study of ethical issues in science. As a bioethics major, you'll learn how to apply your values to health and environmental issues, such as stem cell research and the production of genetically modified food. With a degree in bioethics, you might work in healthcare, education, public policy or social work.
In this major, you'll learn how certain messages influence individual and group behavior, including the strategies speakers and writers use to make their points and drive them home. Communications majors are often highly attuned to current events and the world of media, have strong public speaking and presentation skills, and know how to craft convincing arguments.
At heart, engineering majors —whatever their sub-disciplines—want to know how things work. This interdisciplinary major combines engineering methods with math, biology, and physics making it a great step toward careers in green tech, energy systems, or solar engineering.
Whether you begin with three employees or thirty, starting a company is no walk in the park. You'll need commitment and drive, not to mention some serious business skills. Entrepreneurship majors learn about accounting, economics, and management, as well as how to identify new opportunities and raise capital.
In the environmental design major, you'll learn how to design indoor and outdoor spaces that are in ecological and aesthetic harmony with their surroundings. You'll take math, physics, drawing and computer classes.
Food scientists deal with almost every aspect of food production. They help create and enforce new safety standards, expand our understanding of what constitutes a balanced meal, and improve the ways we produce and consume food. The food science major involves a foundation in hard science, such as biology, chemistry and genetics.
Horticulture pertains to the art, science and business of growing things. Horticulturists grow food and flowers. They also manage the exterior landscapes of residences, office buildings, athletic fields and virtually every respectable golf course. As a horticulture major, you'll spend a lot of time learning about plant physiology, genetic engineering and crop cultivation.
From the killer whale's dietary habits to the reproductive mechanisms of the tiniest saltwater microbes, marine biology majors learn how the greatest ecosystem in the world (the ocean) supports the diversity of life forms that thrive on and because of each other.
Urban planning majors study how cities are designed and managed. It's a diverse academic path: your education will cover sociology, political science, and architecture, among (many) other topics.
As an urban planner, you will be the visionary of the cities of the future. You will help policymakers decide how to use land, improve public transportation and create people- and environment-friendly urban spaces.