“In order to focus our attention on energy education for the young — at all grade levels [in an effort] to help our children understand our domestic and international energy situation now and in the future.” -Proclamation 4738
With those words, then President, Jimmy Carter established National Energy Education Day in 1980. To be honest, one day a year seems hardly enough to focus on all the promise that energy education holds, after all, there is a vastness to it. Energy gave rise to advances in industry, technology, and science and those industries, in turn, have spawned new and exciting ways to take energy beyond powering a simple lightbulb. Energy is ever-evolving. Just think for a second on how it impacts your own life and where you would be without it. Energy demand is ever-evolving as well, and we have made great strides to harness the elements like solar, wind, and water to power us, but the energy industry itself needs powering. It needs brilliant young minds to look for new alternative sources, advance technology, take up the challenge of sustainability, and help forge new policies that provide positive impacts on energy demands and climate change.
There are few industries as broad in scope as energy. It interconnects with and is dependent on, so many fields of study that no matter your passion, there are a plethora of diverse opportunities to find your niche. For example, bachelor programs that focus on the Humanities, Communication, Economics, Political Science, and the Environment can be used to gain a deeper understanding of energy conservation, predict future trends in sustainability, and provide the foundation to guide organizational and global policy in an environmentally friendly direction. Geography, Social Sustainability, Ecology, Geology, and Marine Biology studies are all relevant to sustainability, conservation, and energy demand impacts.
Cities and municipalities are rolling out energy-driven initiatives with vast scope. They are taking advantage of government prizes and grants to attract the best talent in technology, science, and engineering to tackle projects like smart grid initiatives, energy storage solutions, and mobilize electric vehicle fleets. Governments and corporations employ data scientists and statisticians to analyze demographic and economic trends to better understand global energy demands and make informed strategies to address future demand growth.
Wind turbine technicians install, maintain and repair wind turbines. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow much faster than average as wind electricity generation is expected to grow rapidly over the coming decade. Alternatively, employment of solar photovoltaic installers is projected to grow due to the continued expansion and adoption of solar panel installations. These jobs, in turn, have spawned even more creative roles such as wind turbine drone inspectors with even more interesting job titles expected as technology and demand evolve. There are also a whole host of behind-the-scenes jobs that keep our energy infrastructure operational and moving forward.
Energy is at the forefront of everything we do; it is a universal commodity with a global scale. That vastness of scope means that no matter what field of study drives you, you can more than likely find an opportunity in the energy sector to make your own. Energy powers more than just our lives and our tech, and the energy innovations of tomorrow need the up-and-coming minds of today to continue forging vast, new paths and discovering vast, new methods. Now, when asked that most dreaded of questions when you’re in high school and college, “What do you want to do when you graduate?” Just think of all the vast possibilities!
solar voltaic panel installer, chief technology officer, energy efficiency researcher, smart grid solutions architect, wind technician, smart grid director, electrical engineer, smart grid engineer, systems engineer, geologist, climatologist, project manager, cyber security manager, statistician, engagement manager, systems analyst, test engineer, renewable systems engineer, socio-economist, distribution systems engineer, anthropologist, ecologist, systems manager, critical infrastructure consultant, scientific researcher, smart grid systems interoperability validation manager, hydro-electric technician, grid security director, software engineer, manager infrastructure development, software infrastructure subsystem leader, lead software engineer, software quality assurance leader, programmer, global policy consultant, software systems engineer, advanced metering engineer, marketing, sales, director business development, strategic commercial manager, sustainability consultant, wire technician, economist, materials scientist, production engineer…
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By: K. Bailey