Overview of Sustainability
Sustainability is the responsible management of natural resources, such as energy, water, air, land, and biodiversity.
Careers in Sustainability
Check out these videos to learn about the typical workday and workplace for sustainability professionals in a variety of concentrations and get tips for success in this industry.
Get Career Ready for Sustainability
Find out what it takes to land a career in sustainability
Earn a Degree
To work in the sustainability field, it is recommended you have a strong background in science, policy, health or engineering. Check the Mason Catalog for degree requirements.
Take a green-leaf sustainability course
Along with your degree, professional certifications like these may increase your employment options:
- Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP)
- Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
- International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP)
- Renewable Energy Professional (REP)
- Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
- Certified Energy Auditor (CEA)
Enroll in UNIV 421 (College to Grad School) to identify the advanced degree that will help you achieve your career goals and create the materials to apply.
Employers expect at least six to twelve months of related experience to be competitive for full-time positions. Gain experience while you are a student at Mason.
Here are the types of experiences most valued by sustainability employers, and where to find them:
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Environmental Career
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Mason Study Abroad Programs
Research and Field Experience
- Conduct research through OSCAR or at one of Mason’s many research centers and institutes, such as:
- Potomac Science Center: some of the specific Centers within include:
- The Potomac Environmental Research & Education Center
- Center for Geospatial Intelligence
- Institute for a Sustainable Earth
- Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities
- Spend a semester at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
- Apply for research funding through the Patriot Green Fund
- Observe or participate in fieldwork during a semester abroad through the Global Education Office
- Mason's Office of Sustainability
- “Green” student organizations
- Mason’s hydroponic greenhouse
- Help at local farmers markets
Enroll in UNIV 320 (Internship Readiness) to develop your internship goals and search strategies to pursue career-related experiences.
It is important for you to be able to clearly communicate the knowledge, skills and experiences you have gained in and outside of the classroom.
Get ideas on how to showcase your qualifications to sustainability employers from the resume samples below:
Enroll in UNIV 420 (College to Career) to develop your job search strategy, personal brand, networking skills, and more. Or, prepare for what's not in the job description - working effectively in teams, making the most of your benefits, and more by enrolling in UNIV 422 (Professional Skills Development).
Career ready Mason grads have gone on to work for sustainability employers, such as:
Booz Allen Hamiliton
Environmental Protection Agency
Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Park Authority
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
National Park Service
U.S. Geological Survey
Join the sustainability community
Get involved with academic and professional sustainability societies to grow your network while you're still a student. Your industry advisor can help you decide where to start.