Green MBA Programs Burst at Seams, Green-Collar Workers in High Demand

by | Jan 21, 2009

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tie.jpgOver the past decade, colleges everywhere began introducing green-themed MBA programs in response to growing interest from students. Now those choices are paying off, BusinessWeek reports.

New students are still interested in the environment, of course. But an even bigger draw is the fact that despite the struggling job market sustainability-related employees (the proverbial green-collar worker) are still in demand.

MBA program curriculum changes are happening across the country to allow students to focus on solving business problems without hurting the environment. Just a few years ago, courses like Babson College’s “Sustainable Entrepreneurship by Nature” were not around, nor were traditional business courses that focused on green planning.

The programs are only increasing in popularity. A sustainability management program at UNC grew from 20 students in 2003 to nearly 250 in 2008. Many colleges, such as Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, are introducing green course requirements for all MBA students in recognition that most companies are looking for candidates with and understanding of environmental factors. Even Harvard Business School is making changes to its curriculum.

The boom in green MBA program enrollment will likely fade, especially as the job market recovers, but it won’t disappear completely, experts say. Rather, MBA students will still be considered top candidates if they can show an understanding of the environment affects and is affected by their business decisions.

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