Energy Career Profile: Clean Energy Researcher

In a world in the process of transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards green energy, there is no better time to join the clean energy workforce. As clean energy is a relatively new sector within the job market, it is sometimes difficult for people to know exactly what kind of jobs are out there and how to bag them.

This week we are going to take a look at the role of Clean Energy Researcher. For those who are interested in pursuing a career in the renewables sector, this might be the best thing you never knew existed.

The Basics of the Job

As a Clean Energy Researcher you will be responsible for finding new, innovative solutions to make our energy consumption cleaner. This means you will work with oil and gas companies, for example, and look into the ways in which they can reduce the amount of energy they use when they extract these resources from the ground. The need for energy is growing larger by the day so it is essential that we find sustainable ways to meet this demand.

As part of the job you may be required to travel to international conferences or to oil and gas sites to learn more about the different technologies that exist. Once you are fully informed as to what is out there, you will come back to the lab and apply your knowledge to your own company. If you can put all of this into practice you could save your company a lot of energy and money.

Ultimately, you will be reducing the environmental damage caused by extracting energy sources and you will be part of the team working towards increasing energy efficiency.

Job Duties

You are unlikely to have many days doing the same thing. Every day will present new challenges and opportunities. Generally, your job will consist of researching renewable technologies; preparing environmental impact statements; analysing energy demand; and keeping up to date with relevant environmental and energy issues.

Where You Will Be Working

Unlike many of the jobs on offer today, the role of Clean Energy Researcher will not limit you to just the office. In addition to the desk work you will be required to do, you will also do field visits to various extraction sites and you will spend time in the lab. Lab work will comprise the testing of new technologies among other things and this may prove to be the most exciting part of the job.

Who to Work For

If the idea of being a Clean Energy Researcher has piqued your interest then the next step to take is to find someone who is looking to employ such a person. Fortunately, the opportunities for employment in this role are numerous. Most government bodies need people in this position as do a number of non-profit organisations and public utility companies. Alternatively, you could follow a more corporate route and act for a consulting or engineering firm. Whatever you choose, you can be sure to have a solid career progression with plenty of great opportunities throw your way along the way.

How to Feel Fulfilled in Your Career

Millennials now take up a hefty portion of the job market and have very different priorities to the baby boomers that came before them. Job security and high salaries are far less important now than they were before. Nowadays, young people entering the workplace are looking for a sense of fulfilment. This intangible notion is much harder for companies to offer than a certain salary or a generous notice period. Free lunches and other perks are often dangled in front of promising millennials in exchange for their time, but that’s not enough.

At the end of the day, fulfilment comes from within and the only person that can give you true job satisfaction is yourself. But how do you do it? Here are some things you can do to push yourself towards feeling fulfilled in your career.

Do Something For Others

Perhaps the most important element of feeling fulfilled is to feel like you are doing something for someone else. This doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole life volunteering for an NGO. You can have a corporate job and still feel like you’re helping others. You might organise a work charity fundraiser, help on some pro bono work, or champion your company’s diversity scheme. Whatever it is, if it makes a difference to someone other than you, it will take you a step closer to fulfilment.

Opt For a Career With Progression Possibilities

Millennials crave change and challenges. We want to feel like we are constantly moving forward and reaching our full potential. Being stuck in a dead-end job, with no possibility of promotion or progress will suffocate you. You need to feel like you are on a ladder and every day you get closer to climbing the next rung. Fulfilment will come from feeling like you are progressing and not stagnating in the position you already have.

Don’t Take Your Work Home

It can be hard for some people to separate their work and home lives. If you are going home in the evenings and thinking about work then you have a problem. There is nothing wrong with loving your job, but you need to be able to leave it in the office. Stressing about your job after hours is a sure fire way to eventually hating it. If you need to work late, do it in the office and keep your home as a sanctuary where you can be free from work worries.

Don’t Let Money Make Your Decision For You

Big salaries can blindside you and it can be very hard to say no to them. But, ask yourself, “is this what I really want?” You might have convinced yourself superficially that you want that banking job with the big paycheck but is the money really going to make you happy if you are doing a job you hate? It might be hard to take the lower salary, but if it means doing a job that you will enjoy, then it will be worth every penny you didn’t make.

Top 7 Tips To Make This Academic Year Your Best Yet

As the new school year rolls around, it is time to start thinking about ways you can make this year your best yet. It is certainly challenging to say goodbye to the endless freedom of summer and knuckle down into study mode once again. But, it is a necessary evil so you might as well make it count. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t make the most of an academic year and wish you had done better, now is the time to fix that. Here are seven tips that will make this academic year your best one yet.

1. Get Ahead From the Start

On day one, you should be typing up and consolidating the notes you make in your classes and lectures. Naturally, the temptation to put them in your bag and instantly forget about them straight after class is strong. At the end of a long day at school, the last thing you want to do is more work. But, if you get ahead now, you will thank yourself come exam time.

2. Get Into a Good Sleep Pattern

Try and get at least eight hours of sleep each night. This is really important, as it will keep you feeling awake and alert during the day and improve your concentration. You should also try and become an early riser. Waking up at seven or eight in the morning will give you more time in the day to get things done and make you feel more productive.

3. Strengthen Your Social Circle

When school and exam stress hits hard and you’re on the verge of a breakdown, it is really important to have a good group of friends to fall back on. Give yourself time to spend quality time with your friends. Just one or two close friends will make all the difference in your time of need.

4. Network

Nowadays, the job market is all about who you know. If you want to finish your studies and walk into your dream job, you are going to need to know people. Networking can introduce you to people who can give you invaluable advice for interviews and CV writing. They can also give you an insight into the career you’ve chosen and maybe even help you obtain it.

5. Read Around Your Subjects

If you want to get top marks in your exams, it is not enough simply to regurgitate what you learn in class. You need to read around your subjects. Spend some time in the library or online looking at academic journals that will enhance your understanding of what you are learning.

6. Organise Your Time Meticulously

A lot of people create revision timetables when it comes to exam time. But, there is no reason why you can’t do this all year round. Plan your days and allocate yourself time to study, socialise, and exercise. It may take a while to get it all planned out, but once it’s done, all you have to do is stick to it.

7. Think About the Future

It is easy to put off job hunting or thinking about your future. But, the honest truth is that it is never too early to start. Use your free time to get work or volunteering experience on your CV or to send off job applications. Even just visiting your careers advisor is a step in the right direction.

The benefits of an energy education

With so many different types of jobs in the energy sector, there are also many more university courses and programmes that can help you get a job in the sector. Having a professional certification geared specifically towards the energy sector can help boost your qualifications and give you the knowledge and skillset to thrive.

Taking courses and studying the core aspects of any industry can be beneficial, however, a knowledge of the energy industry allows for a great transference of skills to many other sectors. Energy is such a great part of our daily lives that a knowledge of the industry can help in many other fields such as urban planning, building design, but also finance and investing.

Knowing what influences the price of oil, or what to look out for regarding energy efficiency and energy saving technologies can give anyone a competitive advantage in many sectors. Supply chain management and logistics professions can also greatly benefit from an in-depth knowledge of the energy industry as everything from food to fuel prices is influenced by availability and the cost of energy resources.

The Global Energy Certification addresses many facets of the energy industry. Its modular approach means that participants in the programme can choose the areas of research they would like to focus on in whatever order they choose, based on applicability and interest. Though all areas are deemed to be known when it’s time to take the exam, the coursebooks form a valuable reference well past the certification.

In summary, there are many benefits to a course such as GEC, and few limits to who can and should participate.

Why the energy sector is a great field to work in

There are so many different industries and professions to work in, and we’d be lying if we didn’t declare a bias, but the energy sector has to be one of the greatest. With much to offer and a dynamic range of different opportunities you’d be hard pressed not to find a job that doesn’t match with a particular education or skillset that doesn’t somehow relate back to the Energy Sector.

There’s more to energy than just oil and gas. It’s true that oil and gas companies are the largest companies in the world and they just happen to be in Energy. Their scale alone means that those companies are always on the lookout for great talent in a wide variety of fields. Whether it be public relations to engineering, or factory worker to executive, energy multinationals can offer some very unique yet diverse positions for potential job-seekers.

Energy is always current, (no pun intended). There’s not a day that goes by or there’s a news story about energy. Arguably most of the time we talk about energy prices, but renewable energy technology, pipelines, exploration, and environmental topics all feature prominently in many a news cycle. With so much going on, there’s never a dull moment in the sector.

We rely heavily on energy; without it our economy wouldn’t function. The industry is in no means fly-by-night. There will always be development and innovation in the energy sector and there will always be opportunity for growth. New and exciting technologies are constantly being developed and there’s still a very big part of the pie to be distributed. This all makes energy one of the key investment areas in many economies meaning there’s a lot that both the start-ups and established companies can gain.

There’s more to “energy” than just oil and gas

When energy analysts talk about their jobs one of the most common reactions is “oh, so you mean oil and gas”, or to a lesser (but increasing degree) “oh, so you study solar and wind power”. While it’s true that much of the focus in the energy sector is focused on these main areas, there are many facets to the industry. In the broadest sense, all industry relies on energy for production and manufacturing to keep machines running and factories producing, but the energy industry is one in and of itself.

Mining

Raw materials (admittedly including oil and gas) are the basic components that keep the energy industry running and producing. Coal is still the most popular source of fuel for many power plants in the world and the sheer scale of the industry (though dwindling) is often overlooked when discussing energy in casual conversation. With renewables, new minerals and metals are also increasingly being mined and commercialized allowing us to transition to a zero-carbon energy landscape; and let’s not forget uranium mining for nuclear power.

Equipment manufacturers

One of the key sources of data and indicators for the energy industry are the equipment manufacturers. From the biggest turbines to the smallest wires, the energy industry’s equipment suppliers are an industry unto themselves producing the components and heavy machinery that’s needed to produce and transport electricity.

Water and Wastewater

Equally as vital to our daily lives as electricity is water. Of course, water and electricity don’t generally mix, but in terms of their supply water, and electricity and gas industries share many of the same characteristics in their supply and end-use billing. Each of these sub-industries learns from and serves as a model to the other especially in countries which have embarked on a path of deregulation and unbundling of utilities.

5 Tips for a Perfect Interview

With so many CVs floating through the HR departments of businesses all over the country, getting noticed is tough. If you manage to get through the first rounds and are invited in for an interview you have already done a great job. But, don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. Getting into the room is only valuable if it ends with a job offer.

So, how do you convince the recruiter that you are the one for the job? Here are some fail-safe tips that will help you nail your job interview.

Be Yourself

A job interview is your chance to really shine. You can show the recruiter that you are more than just words on a piece of paper. If your CV has been chosen from the dozens or even hundreds that were undoubtedly sent in, you have already impressed the recruiter. They can see you have the academics and the achievements. Now, they want to see whether or not you are someone they could imagine working with. This is the time to let your personality shine through. Be friendly and don’t be shy. Remember, the recruiter is a human just like you so the odd joke (in good taste) or anecdote will make you seem interesting and memorable.

Dress the Part

I was once told that your personal brand is what people say about you once you’ve left the room. You do not want to leave your interview and have your recruiter commenting on what you were wearing. Men, you’ve got it easy – suits and ties with nicely polished shoes will do the trick. Women, you’re going to want a smart skirt or dress that ends just above the knee with a blouse and blazer. Or a pant suit if you feel more comfortable in trousers. Make-up and jewellery should be subtle and hair should be tidy.

Be Polite to Everyone

From the moment you walk through the door you are being assessed. Being rude or stand off-ish with the reception staff or security will not win you any points. Smile and chat with everyone you meet as this will make the best impression. Who knows, that comment from the receptionist about how lovely you are could tip the decision in your favour.

Be on Time

For heaven’s sake be on time. If you know you will be travelling during rush hour, give yourself plenty of extra time. If you arrive really early you can always go and get yourself a coffee or read through your notes beforehand to pass the time. However, there are some circumstances where you simply cannot help being late. Your train might break down or there might be a severe accident on the road. In this case, make sure you contact the recruiter as soon as you can and be apologetic.

Don’t Be Afraid to Sell Yourself

Selling yourself is a hard thing to do. There’s no denying that to most people talking about how great you are does not come naturally. The interviewer is here to listen to you and they want to know what makes you a good candidate for a job in their company. You need to make them believe you are the right choice. Be charming, think before you speak, and talk confidently about your achievements (you can even embellish a little – but don’t lie). Just try not to come across as obnoxious or narcissistic.

Is Energy a Good Career Choice?

The short answer to this question is yes, very. So, really the question you want to be asking is “why is energy a good career choice?” This question requires a bit more depth of analysis and that is what this article will do.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past five years, you have probably noticed that energy has been appearing in the news a lot recently. Traditional fossil fuels have come under fire from environmental activist groups and renewables is the word of the moment. On top of that, there has been an influx of new technology, from electric cars to lithium-ion batteries, all of which is designed to help the world transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable methods of energy generation.

If you are on the fence about whether a career in energy is a good choice, here are some reasons why you should go for it.

It Is Evolving Fast

If you want a career that is fast-paced, energy is the one for you. With the all of the legal, commercial and technological developments happening in the sector, there is always something new to learn about. It is challenging to keep abreast these advancements but it is also exciting. In our lifetimes we are going to see some incredible changes to the energy industry and those working in the sector will be on the front line.

It Is Really Important

Energy is going to shape the future of our planet. If we cannot control our energy consumption or find ways to reduce our emissions, the word as we know it may cease to exist. This means that decisions made in the sector today will have a resounding impact on the world as a whole. There’s nothing quite like going in to work each day and feeling like you are helping to change the world. Just make sure you’re working for the right side!

It Is an Expanding Market

Energy is one of the few markets at the moment that is constantly finding new jobs for people. Solar panel technicians and wind turbine operators are now in hot demand, along with a range of other specialists. From high level scientific roles to manual, hands-on jobs, the industry is employing people with all different interests and skill sets. What’s more, many jobs are so technical that you will receive world class training to get you up to speed when you start. These skills will be valuable as you progress up the career ladder.

There is Money to Be Made

It is estimated that China will spend $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020. Money is pouring into the energy sector from all angles. Despite the closure of numerous coal plants, the sector is thriving. Those who are getting in now and making a name for themselves stand to make some serious money. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly helps.

It Is Full of Transferrable Skills

There is an increasing number of people who change career at some point in their life. You might decide to join the energy sector today and then change to something else in a decade. The great thing about a career in energy is that it will equip you with skills you can transfer to other careers. Whether you specialise in research, legal aspects, maintenance, engineering, or sales, all of this can help you later down the line.

Top 5 Colleges to Study Renewable Energy as a Postgraduate in the USA

More than ever, the world is focusing its attention on renewable energy. Renewable targets are springing up across the world and countries are making a serious effort to reach them by transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass etc. Never has there been a better time to get your knowledge of renewables up to scratch and join the expanding workforce that is setting the ball in motion for huge, global changes.

By 2020 it is estimated that China will have invested £300 billion in renewable energy. That’s just one country! This shows just how important the arena is and how seriously people are taking it.

Nowadays, the job market is fiercely competitive and a lot of people are actually over-qualified for the jobs they are in. Everyone has a bachelor’s degree so you need something that will make you stand out. Studying energy as a postgraduate course will get you one step ahead of everyone else and show that you mean business.

Are you thinking about studying renewable energy as a postgraduate degree? Here are five of the best colleges in the USA for this subject.

Oregon Institute of Technology

This might not be one of the big US names you’re used to hearing but the Oregon Institute of Technology is one of the foremost colleges in the country when it comes to renewable energy. Currently, the college offers a four year undergraduate degree as well as a master of science in renewable energy engineering. The course’s modules look at solar, wind, energy management and a variety of other topics.

University of California Berkeley

Berkeley is well known around the world for the quality of its education. It currently offers a market leading MBA in energy and clean technology, which is targeted at individuals in business and public policy and aims to equip them with the skills they need to address pressing energy-related issues. The university also has a Renewable Energy Speaker series, which will be of interest to anyone studying the topic.

University of Michigan

This university has its very own energy institute that offers masters courses in energy systems engineering and in sustainable systems. The course provides a wealth of information to students and prepares them for the energy and environmental challenges the future generations are going to face. The ultimate goal is for graduates to be capable of engineering systems that are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.

Stanford

Stanford offers both masters degrees and professional certificate programs in renewable energy. The certificates have been specifically designed for working professionals who do not have the time to complete a full degree but would nevertheless like to broaden their understanding of the renewable energy sector. The certificates take between one and two years to complete are available online to give students maximum flexibility with their learning.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

It comes as no surprise that the world famous MIT makes it on to this list. While the college has a specific energy minor that students can read, it takes a more full-on approach than just that. At MIT, professors believe that energy permeates all aspects of modern life. Because of this, energy is taught across all disciplines, departments and programs. Energy research into renewable systems and environmental challenges form part of MIT’s exciting energy programs.

The 4 Most Powerful People in Clean Energy

The world of energy is changing at an incredible rate. Every day more and more technology is developed that will aid the world transition away from traditional fossil fuels and over to renewable energy. It is a huge shift that needs to be undergone but it is happening, slowly but surely. Electric vehicles are becoming more mainstream, huge amounts of money are being invested into clean energy, and countries are setting ambitious emissions targets. The ball is rolling.

But, no revolution can gain momentum without some leaders at its helm, guiding the way. The renewable revolution is no different. It has some seriously impressive people at its helm. Various scientists, innovators and politicians have all come forward to show their support for the movement, but some are making more of an effort than others. Here are the most powerful people in clean energy right now and what they are doing to help the world fight climate change.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is not just one of the most powerful people in renewable energy but he is one of the most impressive individuals on the planet. The brains behind Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City, it seems like everything the man touches turns to gold – and the clean energy space is no exception. Musk has been a key player in the development of electric vehicles. In fact, Tesla’s model 3 is one of the most affordable electric vehicles on the market right now. He has huge plans for the future and could be pivotal to the renewables revolution.

Bill Gates

You might associate Bill Gates more with technology than energy, but the truth is that these two sectors are interlinked and the uber-successful philanthropist has his hands in both pies. In recent years, Gates has made it clear that he is willing to pour his fortune into making the world more sustainable. He is part of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson. He is also behind Mission Innovation, a pact between ten countries to pump more money into clean energy projects.

James Dehlsen

Compared with the first two behemoths on this list, Dehlsen might seem somewhat out of place. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of him. But, Dehlsen has done incredible things for the renewable energy sector and has made an impact on the wind power scene. In 1980 he created Zond, a wind power developer that is now GE Wind Energy. His contributions to the US energy sector did not go unnoticed as he was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2008.

Steven Chu

You might remember Chu from his days as the U.S. Secretary of Energy under the Obama administration. If not, you might know him as the guy who co-won the Nobel Prize for physics. Either way, you really should know who he is. Chu has long been a very vocal advocate of renewable energy and his research has made him one of the preeminent figures in this arena. Since resigning as Secretary of Energy, Chu has worked on various renewable energy projects and continues to do his bit in the battle against climate change.