USA TODAY covers sustainability majors

USA TODAY has a new story on campus sustainability, focused on the rise of degree programs that prepare students to work in sustainability fields, such as green construction or sustainable business:

"David Soto of The Princeton Review says student interest is driving colleges to create programs that offer training in sustainability. Two-thirds of students surveyed for the company's recent "College Hopes and Worries" survey said a college's 'environmental commitment' would be a factor in where they applied."

The story also highlights the rise in technical programs at community colleges, such as Kalamazoo's 26-week program in wind turbine operation:

"Jim DeHaven, vice president for economic and business development at the college, says the school is offering the program to meet the needs of wind farms that are "scrambling" for trained technicians.'They can really write their own future at this point because they're needed at all the wind farms,' he says. 'They don't want us to wait and put people through a two-year program or a one-year certification — they want a fast track to employment.'"

What's interesting is the assumption that students will be able to find jobs easily in these disciplines, and that trained workers are already in demand for certain energy fields. Even a recession won't dampen hiring in all sectors: economists say that certain careers, such as health care, are usually immune to all but the most dramatic market fluctuations. However, it's less common to see climbing demand during bad economic times. The shift may signify that green careers in energy, environmental engineering and other sustainability fields are not only popular among students, but also make up a growing segment of the workforce.