What can I do with my TAFE qualification?
SustainabilityPlease note: the information contained in this document was current as of January 2011 Refer to www.swinburne.edu.au/courses/ for the most recent updates. Refer to the School of Sustainability website www.tafe.swinburne.edu.au/sustainability/ for further information and a list of the courses offered in this area.
Sustainability from an organisation’s perspective is focused on meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs….not compromise the environmental, social and human needs of our descendants”. (Source www.wbcsd.org)
Sustainability is increasingly becoming an important business objective in both government and industry. In recent times, there has been strong growth in compliance and in job descriptions that specifically address sustainability issues. Most growth opportunities exist through applying sustainability concepts to traditional disciplines, such as:
- Business management
- Product design and manufacturing
- Event management
- Hospitality and tourism
- Building and construction
- Information technology
“Green-collar careers” as they are often referred to, are currently experiencing significant growth, with demand for business-focused sustainability solutions outweighing the supply of suitably experienced people. This emerging industry focuses on operational efficiencies, balancing economic considerations and social development within the constraints of the environment, and measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions.
In recent times, there has been strong growth in the number of jobs that specifically address sustainability issues. However, most opportunities exist through applying sustainability concepts to traditional disciplines. Employers are recognising the business benefits of operating in ways that benefit people and the environment. For this reason, many students choose to complete a Sustainability course in conjunction with another course, either at TAFE or Higher Education level. Alternatively, some students will have graduated in other disciplines and return to study Sustainability as their skills are required to be developed in this area.
A large percentage of Sustainability jobs focus on communication and education, but increasingly, existing roles are being adapted to include sustainability principles. Examples include: electricians specialising in sustainable energy; green marketing; plumbers with awareness of water saving and recycling; water-smart farming and forestry within the agriculture industry; sustainable purchasing; green design, building and construction. There are also increasing opportunities in a wide range of niche industries, including wind, solar, hydrogen (fuel) and bioenergy.
The job outlook for people working in sustainability is likely to improve in the next five years, especially due to government investment in sustainability training and schemes.
For further market and industry information relating to your discipline, please refer to:
Swinburne was the first university to sign a Sustainability Covenant with the Environment Protection Authority (VIC). It is the only Australian university that houses national-level sustainability centres, located at the Hawthorn and Wantirna campuses respectively. Swinburne is Australia’s leading body that brings together government, industry and community and fosters the development of sustainable practices. Swinburne’s programs are designed to provide a cross-sectoral understanding of sustainability.
The issue of sustainability impacts on all fields of endeavour and is becoming an increasingly important business objective both in government and industry. Studying in this area will build your capacity to work in a wide range of sectors to create a more sustainable approach to doing business. Further information on the National Centre for Sustainability can be found at www.swinburne.edu.au/ncs
Jobs titles may include the following:
- Climate Change Consultant/Leader
- Carbon and Sustainability Consultant/Leader
- Energy Analyst
- Energy Auditor
- Landcare Worker
- Natural Resource Manager
- Sustainability Advisor / Officer
Graduates who complete Sustainability courses will be sought by employers in the following areas*:
- Change management and organisational change/li>
- Community development
- Compliance monitoring
- Conservation and management planning for fish, wildlife and forests
- Conservation planning
- Design (e.g. building, manufacturing and engineering)
- Energy systems and management
- Environmental legislation management and enforcement – including inspection and auditing of workplaces, processes, plants, chemical and physical hazards
- Environmental management of land and water - including developing, implementing and reviewing plans
- Environmental policy development and provision of advice to government and industry
- Environmental sustainability
- Government agencies
- National park management
- Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s)
- Policy development
- Research and laboratory investigations
- Resources management
- Social research
- Social sustainability
- Sustainable production
- Waste management for disposal of commercial, industrial, medical and household wastes
For a full list of credit pathways and requirements, see Swinburne Pathways website
For entry and admission requirements: www.swinburne.edu.au/courses
References and Relevant Websites
- Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility
- Australian Job Search
- Australian Natural Resource
- Carbon Jobs
- Department of Sustainability and Environment
- Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts
- Environmental Job Network
- Graduate Careers Australia
- Job Outlook
- Melbourne Water
- My Future
- National Centre for Sustainability
- NRM Environmental Jobs
- Science Alert
- Skills Info
- Sustainability Victoria website
- The Age Article
- The AustralAsian Sustainability Network
- Vic Government
- World Business Council for Sustainability Council
Recruitment Agencies specialising in Sustainability jobs
- Career Counselling for Students
- Plan Skills Development
- Career Seminars/Workshops for Students
- Resume and Cover Letter Checks daily at Hawthorn 1:30pm-2:30pm, please refer to website for other campus days.
- Interview Practice daily at Hawthorn at 3:00pm sharp, please refer to website for other campus days.
- All job advertisements for graduate placements, casual, vacation, part-time and full-time employment
- Links to employer websites
- Enables students to book online for events such as workshops, employer information sessions and interviews
- Access to Going Global (over 10,000 job vacancies listed across Europe, Asia-Pacific, UK and US. Global key employer directories, work permits & visa regulations, country-specific cultural & interviewing advice & more).
- Addressing Selection Criteria
- Assessment Centres
- Cover Letters or Letters of Application
- Curriculum Vitae or Resume
- Employer Expectations of Graduates
- Interviews - How to Plan, Prepare and Perform
- Informational Interviewing
- Job Hunting
- Networking: What Is It and How Do You Do It?
- Online Applications
- Psychometric Tests
- Skills and Attributes
- Thinking About Changing Your Course?
- Tips for facing the work environment and your first professional job
Careers and Employment often a range of free services to Swinburne students and graduates