Sustainability Studies

Resources, Strengths, Career Paths, Skills

It’s no secret that “green” jobs are found in some of the fastest growing fields in the 21st-century economy. Government and corporate funding for retrofitting buildings, reconfiguring mass transit and restoring wildlife preserves reaches new highs every year. Many organizations have begun reprioritizing departments and creating initiatives to develop environmentally friendly products and develop new green business practices. Minimizing the use of resources while lowering costs is an important incentive for businesses, government, and individuals to innovate and operate more sustainably. To achieve this, there is a need for skilled analysts, consultants, educators, advocates, planners, and policy makers. Many of these jobs did not exist several years ago and this “green” sector of the economy is expected to continue to grow.

Sustainability Studies majors are in a unique position to take advantage of the many new job opportunities every year in industries which, according to the federal government, are expected to grow 52% between 2000 and 2016.

Transferable Skills: Students of Sustainability Studies complete their education with a unique blend of scientific skills and an understanding of the societal impact of the use of natural resources. Sustainability Studies majors also develop the following skills:

  • Understanding of demography and statistics
  • Conducting research and presenting findings
  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Working in teams and understanding advocacy
  • Public speaking and presentation
  • Technical writing and communication

Career Paths: The major in Sustainability Studies provides students with an optimal platform for entering a wide variety of fields. Here are some careers a Sustainability Studies major may pursue:

  • Environmental advocacy/lobbying
  • Research and development in areas of sustainability
  • Sustainable economic development
  • Green business management and consulting
  • Government and nonprofit work
  • Public action and advocacy
  • Environmental education
  • Resource management and conservation
  • Eco-tourism and travel
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship

Resources & Professional Associations: There are many excellent professional organizations and other resources from which a student of Sustainability Studies will benefit. Below are some websites to help you start your research:

Consider joining on-campus clubs related to environmental conservation and advocacy. On-campus student organizations are a great way to meet people with similar interests who may be able to connect you with professionals in your intended field. Visit the Stony Brook University Student Activities site for more information.

Sample Job Titles: The following are some of the job titles that graduates of the Sustainability Studies program at Stony Brook could expect to secure.

  • Environmental advocate
  • Sustainable economic developer
  • Resource management consultant
  • Clean energy and renewable resources manager
  • Green business manager/consultant
  • Nonprofit or government Worker
  • Green marketer or economist
  • Environmental educator

Note: Some of these jobs may require an advanced degree.

Additional Information: For more information on Stony Brook’s Sustainability Studies major, and other major and minor program offerings, please visit their website at: