The energy sector covers traditional oil and gas energy companies as well as those focused on renewables, i.e. solar, wind, water and bio-based energy sources such as crops. Many of the main energy providers, like E.ON, EDF, BP and Shell, are now the biggest investors in renewable development.
Environmental specialists work for industry, government, international organisations, think tanks, charities etc. in areas including conservation, energy, climate change, environmental assessment and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The sector is interdisciplinary and employs graduates from a range of backgrounds.
Where can you work?
- International Oil and Gas Companies – typically global producers operating across continents. Have well established graduate programmes and detailed careers information on their websites, e.g. BP and Shell both offer a ‘degree matcher’ tool. Rigzone features a comprehensive, searchable global oil and gas company directory.
- Utilities Sector – in the UK there are six big energy suppliers, each with graduate schemes: British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE. Which provides a useful list of smaller utility companies and alternative suppliers.
- Renewable Energy Sector – as technologies develop and costs reduce, renewable energy is an increasingly commercial option. The Renewable Energy Association has a member directory, searchable by technology and business activity.
- Environmental Consultancies – typically include divisions within management and engineering consultancies, national and local government, NGOs and smaller specialist consultancies. ENDS provides a searchable global database of over 1000 environmental consultancies.
- Policy and Regulation – roles can be found in think tanks, research institutes, local and national government, charities, NGOs and international organisations. The Environment Agency is the largest employer of environmental professionals in the UK.
- Conservation – typical employers include charities, national parks and local authorities. Conservation Careers provides a list of organisations and further careers advice.
What’s changing in the sector?
The Paris Agreement has sent a signal around the world: climate change is a serious issue that most governments are determined to address. The renewables sector is therefore likely to see huge growth, with potential for LSE graduates to build careers in the clean energy and renewables industry.
While many positions have a technical bias, we are seeing more roles with a commercial focus. The greatest growth is predicted in areas including climate change, emissions management and sustainability along with environmental impact assessment. Emerging areas of work include scenario modelling.
CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.
Energy and utilities
Prospects – Energy and Utilities – provides a useful overview of the sector along with links to a range of professional bodies and other sources.
Energy and Utility Skills – list of members, useful for finding out which organisations and companies work in or with the energy industry.
The Renewable Energy Association – news, jobs and events in the renewable energy sector, also includes a member directory.
Renewable UK – focuses on wind, solar and tidal energy and has a searchable global member’s directory.
Vault Guides – LSE subscription to guides including Energy, Oil and Gas and Alternative Energy. Scroll down to ‘Vault: Career Insider’ and click on the link to log in.
Prospects – Careers in the renewable energy industry - overview of the sector.
ENDS – Environmental Data Services is a source of environmental and sustainability intelligence and includes a searchable global database of over 1000 environmental consultancies and jobs board.
LANTRA – sector skills and training organisation with career resources for the environment.
Green Jobs – links to a wide range of job sites including renewables, energy and environment.
The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) – worldwide alliance of environmental and sustainability professionals. Has communities including impact assessment and climate change and energy. Student membership is £25.
The Green Directory – a searchable directory of green organisations including ethical finance and alternative energy.
Environment Jobs – interesting range of sustainability, conservation and climate change roles advertised.
Eldis – jobs, volunteering and research opportunities in the environmental and development fields worldwide.