Despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on the renewable energy sector, Masters in Renewable Energy still remains a pretty popular subject among study abroad aspirants. The depletion of fossil fuels, climate change & global warming, water scarcity, and other environmental issues are still needed to be solved. Sustainability and energy policies are increasingly preoccupying governments around the world. In fact, power (including power generated by renewable energy sources) was declared as an ‘essential service‘ on March 24, 2020, by the Ministry of Home Affairs (source: Mondaq).
Although Europe gets more limelight, Canada and the US are also not too far behind when it comes to studies and research in the field of renewable energy. In this post, guest author Aaron Hardy from AxionPower talks about the top master’s (MS) programs in renewable energy in the US and Canada and post-MS job prospects.
Masters in Renewable Energy in US and Canada
By Aaron Hardy, Editor, AxionPower.com
Why Pursue a Master’s in Renewable Energy?
Clean water, fossil fuel, and biodiversity depletion combined with an increasing global population and resource consumption have put sustainability and renewable energy policies at the top of numerous governments’ lists.
Thus, workers with advanced degrees in Renewable Energy are becoming highly employable, essential members of the workforce.
Graduates with a Masters in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems Engineering and Management have an invaluable understanding of the complex economics, technology, and policies that are required to transition society over to renewable energy.
A Masters in Renewable Energy helps combines management skills with the language of renewable energy technology in order to create an employable graduate who is equipped with the skills needed to make the world a more sustainable place.
Renewable Energy Engineering vs Renewable Energy Management
There are various Master’s Degree programs for students seeking to study renewable energy.
An MS in Renewable Energy Engineering prepares students to deal with energy production issues and creates professionals with a broad range of technical skills that help land leadership roles in institutions like nascent, NGOs, and government entities.
While an MS in Renewable Energy Management equips students with critical thinking and creative problem solving which is combined with engineering principles and technical skills to help assist professionals in engaging with the development of sustainability.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Renewable Energy Sector
Due to renewable energy import dependency, it seems as though Covid-19 will have a negative impact on the Renewable Energy Sector.
More than 40% of the global solar sector supply chain is reliant on China and Southeast Asian countries to supply low-cost solar photovoltaic modules and cells.
The wind industry is reliant on China and Europe for 60% of its raw wind material and component imports. However, both of these renewable energy sectors have come to a halt as the Covid-19 outbreak has forced manufacturers to shut down production, leaving no supplies to further environmental sustainability.
Job Prospects: Top Job Profiles and Average Salaries in the US and Canada
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental engineers earned a median income of $84,890 in 2016.
Whereas energy operations specialists and auditors earned an average annual income of $70,530.
Considering these numbers only show the average income, here are some more top jobs in the renewable energy field and their salaries:
- Wind farm site managers earn an average of $104,970 a year,
- Green construction managers make $91,370,
- Renewable energy consultants make $82,450,
- Solar project managers earn $83,134 (and are expected to experience a 13% job growth rate from 2016 to 2026), and
- Renewable energy sales representatives earn a range between $66,847 and $78,810 depending upon education and experience.
Top In-Demand Technical and Soft Skills to Improve Job Chances
There are certain skills, both technical and soft, that will greatly improve a graduate’s chances of being hired in the renewable energy field.
In regards to technical skills, comprehension of global energy markets, economics, regulatory policy, cost analysis, and research and analysis methods shows an understanding of the industry which makes an applicant extremely employable.
Important soft skills to possess include communication, motivation, ingenuity, and inquisition.
Top 30 Renewable Master’s Programs in the US
- Northeastern University
- University of Michigan
- University of Wisconsin
- Stanford University
- University of California, Berkeley
- Boston University
- University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Oregon Institute of Technology
- University of Maryland
- Clarkson University
- Villanova University
- University of Pennsylvania
- American University
- Tulane University
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- SUNY Cortland
- New York Institute of Technology
- UC Davis
- University of Southern California
- SUNY Buffalo
- UT Dallas
- Texas A&M
- University of Colorado Boulder
- Columbia University
- Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
- Appalachian State University
- University of North Carolina Charlotte
- UT Austin
- North Carolina State University
- Arizona State University
Top 10 Renewable Master’s and Diploma Programs in Canada
- University of Alberta, Master of Forestry, Renewable Resources
- University of Toronto, Master of Science in Sustainability Management
- University of British Columbia, Master of Engineering Leadership in Clean Energy
- Carleton University, Masters in Sustainable Energy
- University of Calgary, MSc Sustainable Energy Development
- Centennial College, Advanced Energy Systems Engineering Technology
- University of Alberta, MSc in Renewable Resources
- Durham College, Advanced Diploma in Environmental Technology
- Canadore College, Ontario College Advanced Diploma in Environmental Technology
- Centennial College, Advanced Diploma in Environmental Technology
To see a full list of renewable energy degrees and the job prospects they lead to, visit Axion Power’s comprehensive list here.
About Aaron Hardy:
Aaron is the Editor of Axion Power and is an expert on Solar & Wind Energy.
He loves writing, tech & gadgets, and has spent over 2 years consulting deeply with an electricity project in Alberta, Canada. Read more about AxionPower.com.
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Featured Image Source: NewEngineer.com