Be at the forefront of an innovative, interdisciplinary movement that tackles some of the most difficult socioecological problems of our time. Graduates enjoy diverse and growing sustainability leadership job prospects in business, economics, social planning, environmental science, design and technology.
The MA in Sustainability Leadership is a joint venture of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Management.
Employers often cite the skills profile of applicants as the most important factor in their recruitment and job offer decisions. Here is how we help you develop 10 critical skills for the sustainability leadership position you want:
Enhance your oral, written and interpersonal skills to communicate with clarity and precision about some of the most difficult and complex socioecological problems of our time. Communication is a central focus of most courses, and fieldwork projects oftentimes help develop advanced skills.
Outside the classroom, take advantage of numerous communication skill-building opportunities, for example:
Identify complex problems and review related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. Through UB-sponsored events, meet some of the world's leading sustainability experts and learn first-hand how they help resolve complex sustainability issues. For example:
Rise to the challenge by gaining experience and leadership skills in some of the hundreds of University at Buffalo extracurricular and governance organizations, civic groups and volunteer activities.
Below are a few of the community organizations that provide volunteer and leadership opportunities:
Acquire the knowledge and skills to initiate, plan, execute, control, and close projects to achieve specific organizational goals. Negotiate reasonable and achievable deadlines and milestones, and report results to multiple stakeholders.
Students are required to design and complete a capstone project, prepare a project report, and present the results to faculty members and students in the program. Projects range from individual research to the work of small groups interacting with governmental, not-for-profit or private entities. Master’s students have the opportunity to investigate across a wide variety of disciplines and propose solutions to real-world socioecological problems.
Review data in detail, observe patterns, perform advanced calculations and draw logical conclusions. Use mathematical models and statistical techniques in decision-making as broadly informed citizens, researchers, managers, and stewards of the Earth’s environments and resources.
Apply your skills through projects, case studies and research papers in core and elective courses; for example:
Work independently, with peers or with faculty members on major research projects, helping them identify issues and produce groundbreaking and publication-worthy scholarship and applied research.
In addition to on-campus opportunities, engage with diverse and thought-provoking industry leaders at professional conferences. Students are encouraged to present their work and meet with scholars who share their academic interests at national and international conferences and conventions organized by renowned academic and professional associations to meet every interest. Below are just a few examples:
When possible, the department offers financial support to help students cover the expenses of the conference participation. The UB Graduate Student Association is also a source for conference funding.
Use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
UB is a leader in sustainability initiatives and research. Learn more about some of the on-campus groups, projects and events that provide opportunities for students to make an impact and contribute to an expanding body of knowledge.
Gain an in-depth understanding of the issues surrounding diversity and culture and its impact on policies, political groups, regulations, laws and funding. Develop cultural self-awareness and learn to appreciate and value diverse views.
Join a sustainability association to enhance and strengthen your professional network, show your commitment and expand your worldview. Choose an organization that fits your interests and goals. Here are just a few:
Learn to connect, work and succeed within a group framework. UB's MA in Sustainability Leadership integrates degree programs and research that span the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and enhances interdisciplinary team skills throughout the curriculum. For example:
Gain insight into the demands and expectations of employers through credit-bearing and, in some cases, paid internships. Students displaying knowledge, professionalism and a solid work ethic are oftentimes offered full-time positions. Acquire valuable sustainability job experience, explore different roles and confirm your passion for the work.
Take advantage of the numerous on campus resources for your internship searches including the university-wide Career Services offering coaching, skill-building, employer connections and Bullseye powered by Handshake, an online service that makes it easy for UB students and alumni to connect with employers. In addition, many academic departments offer specialized career services assistance.
In addition, explore volunteer opportunities:
Participate with the university-wide and interdisciplinary UB RENEW Institute (Research and Education in Energy, Environment and Water), which focuses on complex energy and environmental issues, as well as the social and economic ramifications.
RENEW’s research focuses on several prominent issues, including:
Sustainability jobs represent a large and growing portion of the U.S. workforce across multiple sectors, outpacing others in job creation in every state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “There is no set career path for jobs in sustainability; these jobs have varying responsibilities across different organizations.”
Below are just a few potential job titles and, in the pie chart, corresponding 2018 average annual salaries:
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Information Network (O*NET), developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration