Today’s generation is made up of individuals who take greater social responsibility and also nurture the ambition to build a career that is professionally and environmentally rewarding. Colleges have recognised this need and are designing courses to fulfil the demand.

More and more institutions are now offering degree courses and short-term upskilling programmes in green education, to also meet the industry demand for skilled individuals in sustainability roles. However, before signing up for such courses, individuals need to understand which courses are in demand, what is the success rate and other such issues to plan a realistic career path.

Green offerings by institutions at graduate and post-graduate level

For those visualising a green career or planning to switch to one, it’s imperative to first gain clarity on the courses colleges or universities are offering. Picking the appropriate course is important to be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge, and help lay a strong foundation for a green career.

Muneza Kagzi, Associate Professor and Chairperson-Students Affairs, T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), says their graduate-level Integrated Program in Management (IPM) and MBA programme offer a combination of mandatory and elective courses that cater to green careers. In the MBA, there are essential courses that specifically focus on green skills. One of these is an in-class teaching course called “Sustainability Responsibility and Managerial Ethics (SRME)”. Additionally, Kagzi says they also emphasise on practical learning through a project-based course named SEVA.

At the undergraduate level, the institute ensures opportunities for social internships so that students can gain insights into various aspects of sustainability. Furthermore, she says that students are encouraged to enrol in Coursera courses to enhance their understanding of sustainability in business.

Sukanta Parida, Director of Admissions and Marketing, Centurion University of Technology and Management, says they design courses with the vision of creating skill-based education so that students will be ready to join the workforce immediately after completing their education. The university provides multiple courses to help students learn the nuances of the professional world.

The BTech courses at CUTM offer specialisation in electric vehicle manufacturing as well as in renewable energy, in association with General Electronics. Alongside this, she says they also have a “waste to wealth” short-term course where students learn to make pens from newspapers and cloth bags from apparel waste.

Such universities are imparting green skills by greatly emphasising on “learning by doing”.

Success after pursuing green courses

Elaborating on how these courses assisted students in the real corporate setup, Kagzi says many human resource students who did courses focusing on sustainability found it useful to design corporate social responsibility (CSR) investment and execution. After completing the MBA, a lot of students could also seamlessly integrate sustainability principles into their role as a CSR specialist. This way, students’ expertise in sustainability not only enhanced the company’s reputation but also contributed significantly to its long-term success, she adds.

While sharing the success stories of the students, Parida says that CUTM has a division for e-rickshaw manufacturing, which is basically a startup by one of their alumni. The students learn the process of manufacturing and innovation here, and witness all the factors that go into making 1,000-1,500 units every year. This is a stepping stone for them, she adds.

Challenges universities face while curating and promoting green careers

Designing courses that focus on sustainability came with its set of challenges. Tutors say mixing green focus with the various facets of management was one.

“When I added sustainability courses to different programmes, I faced some challenges. One big challenge was creating the curriculum. I had to design courses that could blend sustainability into different subjects like finance, human resource management, marketing and sales management,” says Kagzi.

Another massive challenge faced by her was getting students interested and involved. Diverting their attention towards green programmes was not at all easy. She had to use creative teaching methods, show real-life examples and connect the content to their future jobs to make it interesting and useful.

Parida had a similar experience. “While a lot of students were enthusiastic about green courses, we realised that there is a need to create awareness about them.” So they have been teaching students how to create a bigger impact on the planet and devise sustainable ways of living. She holds the opinion that when we build a strong foundation at the university level, we get to produce students who are ready to take on the challenges that life throws at them.


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