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Getting Down to Green Business

Ah, targeted advertising: It seems I can’t visit an environmental web site without receiving an ad for a “green” MBA degree program. But all these ads make me want to ask: Just who are all these green MBAs going to manage? In other words, who’s actually going to be doing all this important green work?

Obviously, there is a great need for trained technical workers for today’s green jobs. That is, the people who are actually installing solar panels and repairing wind turbines — the kinds of folks we’re training right now at America’s first Ecotech Institute. But are all green workers technical workers?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), green jobs are either: (1) Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or (2) jobs in which workers'’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. In other words, if you can have green MBAs, you certainly can have green bachelors and associates in business of all kinds.

This is why we have created our first non-technical degree program at Ecotech Institute: An Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration – Sustainability. Launching in January 2013, this program will provide students with knowledge and skills suitable for employment in a broad range of private and public sector organizations. Coursework includes accounting, financial analysis, human resources, project management, communications, customer service, sustainability, renewable energy and workplace ethics.

Upon successful completion of the Business Administration - Sustainability program, students will be prepared to:

·         Understand the various components of contemporary business administration;

·         Communicate effectively and in a manner appropriate for a business setting;

·         Demonstrate practical proficiency in the use and application of current business hardware and software;

·         Operate cutting-edge business technology;

·         Utilize project management skills;

·         Demonstrate an understanding of employment relationships;

·         Understand and demonstrate good customer service skills; and

·         Understand the basic principles of finance and accounting.

So if you’re interested in saving the planet but don’t want to climb wind turbines or learn the electrical engineering of solar panels, don’t worry: We have your green job training program at Ecotech — no “tech” required. But hurry; because there are a lot of green MBAs waiting around wondering who’s going to actually do all the work involved in green business.

Kyle Crider is Manager – Environmental Operations at Ecotech Institute and Education Corporation of America. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a double-emphasis in Urban Planning & Policy Analysis. He is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND). He is currently in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Ph.D. Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and not necessarily those of Ecotech Institute or Education Corporation of America. Email Kyle at kyle.crider@ecotechinstitute.com