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You want a career that makes an impact. One that satisfies your drive to tackle the environmental, economic, and social challenges our world faces today and changes them for the better. At Presidio Graduate School, our unique master’s degree programs empower students for careers as organizational change-makers with an emphasis on sustainable solutions. Below, we discuss the top 10 career paths available to the graduates of our Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Solutions (MBA) or Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Sustainable Management degree programs.

Top careers for MBA in sustainability graduates

Our MBA degree in sustainable solutions prepares students to be managers, directors, and executives, oftentimes in corporations or private organizations. You’ll study business fundamentals like entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, and leadership, all through the lens of systems thinking while also benefiting from our Experiential Learning program. With coursework that covers things like climate technology, impact investing, climate communications, and regenerative operations, graduates of our MBA program will be prepared for careers like:

Sustainability Consultant

Across the globe, companies are looking to go greener and improve their awareness of the issues at the center of today’s world. To do that, they need sustainability consultants who can come in and advise them on how to improve their operations, their hiring, their culture, and more. Presidio’s MBA program offers students the chance to shadow a sustainability consultant through PGS Consults, giving you the opportunity to experience just what this career path has to offer. PGS Consults is a management consultancy at Presidio Graduate School that partners with businesses in diverse sectors to help them find key opportunities to build sustainability and social equity into their practices. It’s a unique experience that allows you to work with a coalition of thought leaders, Presidio alums, and sustainability experts.

Director of Sustainability

There are some companies that establish permanent sustainability roles within their organization. Sometimes referred to as director of compliance, this high-level position is put in place to provide constant, in-house feedback on how to ensure all government regulations are met and keep sustainability a central component in business decisions.

Supply Chain and Logistics Director

One of the key areas where sustainability matters most is in the production and transportation of goods. Graduates with an MBA degree focused on sustainability are uniquely positioned to bring new dimensions to this role, offering key insights on how both access and output can affect our social and natural ecosystems.

Business Operations Manager

This role is typically responsible for facilitating many activities within an organization, from hiring staff to addressing budget matters. While the specific responsibilities may depend on the organization, applicants with experience in sustainability will stand out to employers of businesses with sustainable goals, as they will have received training rooted in holistic approaches to the world’s problems.

Marketing Manager

Responsible for overseeing the promotion of products and services that an organization sells, marketing managers with a background in sustainability will have a leg up on the competition when it comes designing and advertising eco-friendly products and sincerely green initiatives. More and more, companies are seeing the benefits of using renewable resources and the widening customer appeal of sustainably designed products.

Top careers for MPA and dual MBA/MPA graduates

The main difference between an MBA and MPA is that public administration master’s degrees focus more on public sector training to equip degree-holders for careers in government agencies and nonprofits. MPA degrees still cover subjects like finance, leadership, and microeconomics, but they also feature a lot more discussion on subjects like public finance, policy analysis, public management, ethics, and policy writing for equity and inclusion. Graduates with an MPA degree in sustainability management are prepared to address the critical social and ethical issues we’re faced with today and prepared for careers like:

City Manager

Hired by city councils, city managers are tasked with the day-to-day operations and running of a municipality. MPA graduates are often brought on for this role because they are equipped to handle the complexity of keeping a city’s budget and services running smoothly. With a sustainability MPA degree, you’ll be able to bring a unique awareness and positive influence to this position.

Director of Programs

Program directors hold responsibilities like researching and planning the implementation of a company’s services. Having a deep understanding of how organizations, like nonprofits, offer services to the public will help set sustainability graduates tackle issues like resource access and community impact in a thoughtful way.

Urban and Regional Planner

Urban and regional planners work at every level of government, from towns and cities to federal agencies like the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As someone whose job it is to develop land, revitalize community spaces, and plan for environmental and demographic changes, it’s a role that is well-suited to those who have an MPA with a focus on sustainability.

Non-Profit Administrator

There are a whole host of non-profit organizations out there, doing important work for social, economic, community, and environmental charitable causes. Managing these organizations can be a particular challenge, requiring creative thinking and a passion and background in the local and global sustainability issues we’re facing today.

Administrative Services Manager

This type of professional helps in the day-to-day management of administrative functions within an organization. From overseeing record-keeping to departmental budget planning, sustainability-trained applicants can bring nuanced approaches to organizations that have set eco-friendly goals.

Stand out with a graduate degree in sustainability

A master’s degree in sustainable systems or sustainable management offers professionals the chance to align their goals and values with a like-minded company to build a meaningful, purpose-driven career. If you’re ready to take the next step in your professional development, Presidio Graduate School offers MBA and MPA degrees grounded in sustainable solutions and backed by experience and passion. For more information about how students from across the country can earn a master’s in sustainability online, contact us today.

About the Author / Amanda Opperman

Amanda Opperman earned her PhD in Education with an emphasis in Social Justice from the Claremont Graduate University / San Diego State University joint doctoral program. She has been an adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University, California University of Management and Sciences, and Claremont Lincoln University. Amanda put herself through college by taking out too many student loans and by working as a telemarketer, a bartender, an ESL teacher, and a camp counselor. A San Diego native, Amanda moved to the Bay Area in 2017 and now calls the East Bay her home. She is the proud mom to her two fur babies, a black lab/collie mix named Nathan and a miniature schnauzer named Monster. When she is not working at PGS as our Associate Vice President of Admissions, she can be found binge-watching 90s TV shows and reading re-reading one of her all time favorites, Noam Chomsky's "On Anarchism."

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