Environmental Jobs Are A Knowledge and Relationship Driven Market
Have you heard the saying "It's not what you know but who you know." In this "new normal" economy, knowledge and relationships as well as strong skills are the keys to acquiring high level environmental jobs. If you are a environmental engineering or science graduate or experienced environmental professional seeking a new position, here are some important knowledge areas and skills you need to showcase in your resume in 2013 .
Knowledge of Environmental Regulations: New and updated environmental regulations will force companies to find ways to stay in compliance. Environmental professionals will have to translate these changes into solutions that meet compliance and lessen financial liabilities. Environmental regulations are a key driver for the creation of environmental jobs.
Knowledge of Sustainability Principles: It is important to understand that Sustainability has different definitions and levels of acceptance in different industries. If you are seeking corporate environmental jobs, learning these definitions and how to develop profit streams from them will lead stronger opportunities.
Business Development/Sales : Relationships are a key component of environmental jobs. Environmental professionals must have "relationship capital" ( ie. trust and expertise) with qualified clients, regulators and stakeholders to sell their services and bring in profits over the long term
Technical Skills & Knowledge of New Environmental Technologies: Professionals who can execute the basic technical tasks of their profession using the latest environmental technologies will find it somewhat easier to protect their careers because they can pursue opportunities in consulting, corporate and entrepreneurship.
Financial Management & Project Funding: Many new environmental projects will require private investment, alternate funding sources like crowd funding and a higher level of financial accountability. There will many clients who will be dependent on these resources to pay for their projects. Strong environmental consultants will know how to pull these funds together.
Project Management: Environmental professionals will have to be more adept at project management; coaching, motivating and recruiting people as well as interpreting the new domestic and international environmental regulations. All of these areas will have a significant impact on the profitability and delivery of projects.
Knowledge of Cyber Security: Why would an environmental professional need to know about this? Good question. Certain parts of our country's infrastructure are vulnerable to cyber attacks and could be used create massive disasters, if breached. Many new environmental jobs in the information technology space will focus on infrastructure cyber security, disaster prevention and recovery.
Political & Legal Savvy: Environmental and infrastructure projects are often politically charged because of the fight between environmental concerns and the need to create jobs. Environmental professionals will have to navigate these issues without losing sight of their client's objectives. Further, they will have to learn how to engage the public on complex environmental topics.
Environmental Jobs Will Be Hot For Years to Come. Are You Ready?
In a past articles, we have discussed how much the environmental industry has grown and some of the sectors that growing faster than average. I will continue this trend but I want to hear from our readers. Here is what I like to know
What areas of the environmental sectors interest you?
As I move forward in this article, you will have to take into account that venues like the Super Dome are like small cities which have high power demand during large events. The Super Bowl Blackout is a big deal.
Super Bowl Blackout Changes Momentum of Game And Raises Questions
Power Industry Needs Skilled People
I have heard all. "The half time show drained the power""Disgruntled Saints fans wanted to get back at the Commissioner." The Super Bowl blackout has sports commentators and fans looking for and making up answers for one of the strangest occurrences in sports. One ESPN football analyst mentioned that the league is "not sure who to punish" for the blackout because they don't know why or how it happened [my paraphrase]. Most writers are going to talk about New Orleans' chances of getting another Super Bowl or how it changed the momentum in the game. Here we are going to discuss a deeper subject: the Power Grid.
Large Blackouts Not Unusual. Just Surprising
Large scale non weather related blackouts are not unusual. We are just surprised they happen. In late 2011, parts of the southern California, Arizona and Mexico were darkened by a blackout caused by "human and systemic error". The short explanation was a 500kV power line shutdown after an employee performed a maintenance procedure in a substation and a cascade of systems failures. In 2003, the Northeast Blackout darkened an area that included New York City, Detroit and parts of southern Canada. 50 million people were without power for two days. The cause was attributed to a combination of human and systemic failure. Today, some news outlets are reporting that an "abnormality " triggered a main feed line to shut down which could point to some type of human and systemic failure.Hmmm.
The Power Grid System is Old That Why It is Failing
Hurricane Katrina's destruction of the Super Dome forced a massive and expensive reconstruction project which should have addressed the electrical concerns within the building but not necessarily the power grid connected to it. Let me explain further. Most of the power grid in the US was built nearly a century ago and has fallen into various states of disrepair and obsolescence. Another unfortunate circumstance of our antiquated system is most major repairs and upgrades to the power grid take place after a destructive weather event like Hurricane Katrina because many local codes require new construction to update to current standards.But even after an event like Katrina, the New Orleans city grid maybe upgraded but it still may not be a " Smart Grid".
Hurricane Sandy. The "Fiscal Cliff". Partisan politics. Government regulations. All these factors will have an uncertain effect on the economy and job market. Therefore in search for some certainty, employers are going to spend more time looking at specific experience, relationships and job skills workers bring to the table before making a hiring decision. We want to make sure that job seekers are prepared this heightened level of scrutiny by publishing this list of job skills and knowledge areas employers want in 2013
Many of the hottest jobs in 2013 will go unfilled due to shortages of qualified applicants. This list is a starting point for job seekers to check their current skills; seek out places to develop new ones and get into place to take these new jobs.
What You Need to Do Now
Check with the local community colleges to find out if they have partnered with employers on job training programs
Hinton Human Capital, an emerging leader in executive search in Environmental and Infrastructure industries is now searching for Environmental Data Analyst for a international environmental consulting firm. Ideal candidate will have at least 2 -4 years of demonstrated experience in environmental consulting plus the following skills and abilities:
A demonstrated history of handling sensitive data, building algorithms and decision-making tools based on the latest statistics and data mining methodologies
Experience managing all aspects of medium to large databases for environmental projects including data population, data mining, spatial data management, reporting, and visualization;
Ability to analyze data/metrics to uncover trends and root causes
Ability to work with project managers to generate reports for clients
Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics or related field
Master’s is a strong plus
Experience developing software tools using Visual Basic, VBA, C++, C , VB.net, SQL Server, ASP.net and HTML
Experience using Locus EIM and EQuIS is a strong plus
Must possess strong initiative as well as written and oral communication skills
Over the last few years, many college graduates have struggled to find jobs. To help these and future graduates, we wanted to share the top 10 job skills that hiring managers want in 2013 graduates. This is not scientifically compiled list but it is based on conversations with hundreds of hiring managers, HR managers and recruiters over the last 12 months.
Work Ethic: Managers want graduates who learn quickly while paying their “dues”. Paying your dues is not just doing mundane everyday work. It also means producing consistent high quality results. People who learn quickly and produce high quality work are promoted quickly in most organizations.
Internship Experience: Internships provide students with an opportunity to learn what is expected in the workplace. Some managers believe graduates with intern experience integrate into their positions much faster than those who do not have it. This is a great advantage in a tight job market. Here is a good piece of advice to rising freshman in college: “The day you start college is when you start looking for your first internship.”
Ability to Follow Directions: Believe or not, there are many people who do not know how to (or will not) follow directions. Following directions can quickly win the trust of managers and co workers. Does following directions mean blindly following orders? No, it does not. Part of following directions is questioning to get clarification. Some graduates fear asking questions because they feel it will make them look dumb. A “dumb” question that leads to a good job is better than a half done job any day.
Knowledge of Accounting, Finance and Budgets: The economic times have made employers highly attracted to grads who understand the basics of accounting and finance. They want grads who can understand balance sheets, budgets and the business decisions that can be made from them.
Interpersonal Skills: The ability to collaborate with people of different ages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and levels of an organization is very important in the workplace. Today’s graduates will have to learn that e-mail, social media and texting is no substitute for being able to have a face to face conversation. Further, most companies require people to work in collaborative teams so listening and social manners are important as well.
Communication Skills: The people who know how to present and defend their ideas on paper and in front of a room move up fast in an organization. As a graduate, you may not believe that you will have to do a presentation or that your reports will be read by upper management but it does happen. Foreign language skills are also extremely attractive to employers especially for those who work internationally.
Problem Solving Skills : Creative thinkers and problem solvers are highly valued especially in technology and engineering based industries. Hiring managers are looking for grads who can think on their feet and come up with sound strategies to solve problems on the job.
Knowledge of STEM Subjects: Science, technology, engineering and math concepts are ingrained into the fastest growing and highest paying jobs in the economy. (Apple, Google and many others) It is always a great idea to sharpen your knowledge of computers, statistics and other technical areas beyond the basic requirements.
A Sense of Adventure: Sometimes a hiring manager may be looking for a new grad to go out to a remote site in the Chilean mountains for 6 weeks to help out on a problem project. Graduates who are not afraid to travel or take on a hard projects gain stronger experience and better opportunities later in their careers.
Good Eye Contact and Firm Handshake: These two pieces of business etiquette convey confidence, character and sincerity. If you want to go far in your career make improving your business etiquette a priority.
Why These Skills Are Important?
These job skills are important for grads to develop because they can help open the doors to better career opportunities in the future.