How developing green skills can give your tech career competitive edge

Raphael Santos

By Raphael Santos
October 14, 2022

April 11, 2023

0 min read

Source: Frame Stock Footage/Shutterstock

With the rise of clean technologies in the industry, more sustainability-oriented skills have been in demand from tech professionals

You’ve probably heard the term “green jobs.” But what does it mean? It means that many new, high-paying careers are emerging in the energy sector, thanks to the increasing investments in sustainable technologies.

These include everything from energy efficiency experts to software developers who can help companies make their operations more environmentally friendly.

LinkedIn's Global Green Skills report shows that the number of people with green-related skills has increased significantly over the past five years. The study ranks countries and regions based on their ability to attract and retain skilled workers who are equipped with the right knowledge and skills for sustainable development.

So, this is something that will keep recruiters busy: find the best tech talent with a good skillset of "green" abilities and experiences.

What are green skills?

Green skills are abilities and knowledge that is oriented toward developing and supporting a sustainable and eco-friendly society and industry.

It can encompass climate change education to help us achieve sustainable economies. But, most significantly, green skills are not just about being aware of the environment; they also involve understanding how technology can be used to improve our lives while protecting the planet.

Green skills being applied at the workplaceSource: Frame Stock Footage/Shutterstock

For example, an electrician may know how to install solar panels or wind turbines, but he or she might not understand why these technologies are important.

So basically, you need to develop a specific skill and along with it a certain "green" attitude — a mindset. And, voilà! The green skill starts to flourish.

The green approach in tech

When we put the concept of green skills within a technology context, it’s not just about reducing power usage or conserving natural resources; it’s also about making sure that your organisation can continue operating without interruption if there are any disruptions to the electricity grid.

This includes having backup generators, redundant power sources, and other measures designed to ensure that you don’t lose data or suffer downtime when the lights go out. It’s also important to be able to recover from a disaster quickly so that you can resume operations as soon as possible.

This is why IT professionals need to understand how to work with renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams.

In brief, this means developing a green skill such as "corporate social responsibility" to prepare yourself for any kind of emergency that may arise during this transition to a net-zero economy. Plus, being "green" can mean doing things differently than what we're used to. It can also mean doing things better than what we're used to.

Green IT is the new IT

Green IT aims to strengthen good sustainability practices in the Information Technology (IT) industry, which has grown exponentially yearly. 

Because of this, some strategies have become almost obligatory for any company wanting to be environmentally friendly. Organisations are increasing efforts in deploying the following plans to do their part on the road towards a net-zero economy:

  • Cloud computing adoption
  • Virtualisation of software and servers applications
  • Optimisation of data centres' supply of energy and cooling systems
  • Increasing usage of SaaS (service as a software) models
  • More frequent use of remote access

There is an ongoing trend towards the total re-organisation of IT infrastructural systems within companies. New priorities are now being placed at the top of the list and with that the tech professional must be aware of these changes.

The green IT infrastructures you will encounter

Greening their infrastructures heavily, organisations are turning their IT Departments into energy efficient operations. It’s a reflection of the current mindset of an IT Department lled by Chief Information Officers (CIOs).

According to the Equinix 2022 Global Technology Trends Survey, 69% of the respondents say that sustainable business practices are among their companies' top priorities. Also, the same percentage of IT decision-makers confirm that they have a strategy in place to manage the environmental impact of growing data usage.

Global Organisations Take on Sustainability of IT Infrastructure 2022

As the chart shows us, green skills will be vital for the new IT workforce. And therefore, you must think about how to increase your own capacity to meet the latest demands of the green economy.

You should know that the green revolution is already here. The world has changed and we are living in a different era. We are moving away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable future. This shift is going to affect all aspects of life including technology.

To be relevant in this new economy, you'll need to learn how to adapt to the new challenges. You will need to acquire new skills.

Top in-demand green skills

As mentioned above, green skills are becoming increasingly relevant due to the growing interest in clean technologies. For example, they may use smart meters to monitor energy consumption and then apply the findings to improve efficiency. They could also install sensors to detect leaks in pipelines or even replace old equipment with newer models.

Looking again at LinkedIn's Global Green Skills Report, we can see the top in-demand skills requested by employers in 2021. With no surprises, Renewable Energy is in the top five.

Top in-demand green skills

Sustainability is the top one in-demand green skill and has an impressive share of 27.6% of job postings requiring this skill. Every IT worker that incorporates this skill into his skillset will be ahead of the competition.

Fastest-growing green skills

Green skills development should be a priority for your career plan. So, let's take another look at LinkedIn's report to understand the green skills landscape in the job market.

Fastest-growing green skills

It is important to note how ”sustainable business strategies" has grown by 56.6% in the last five years and can be considered a transversal skill capable of encompassing different areas of activity (especially IT). 

Given all this, it seems inevitable that the demand for sustainability knowl­edge will continue to grow. So, if you don't already have a strategy for staying ahead of the curve, you might consider developing one.

Start your action plan for the green transition

The green transition is not only about technology; it’s also about people, processes and culture. You need to be able to adapt to new ways of working and embrace new technologies. That's why also green skills usually walk hand in hand with soft skills.

Besides searching for specific courses to develop your soft skills, a good manner to already improve your social abilities is to join a community focused on "green" topics. It will help you to get involved in the movement and make connections with other professionals who share similar interests. 

Plus, being able to interact more with engaged colleagues can help you work on these skills:

  • Better communication
  • Regular feedback
  • Teamwork 
  • Leadership
  • Empathy
  • Environmental Education

LinkedIn already said that green employees have twice and even thrice more connections in their professional networks, and with that they have a wider path for employment opportunities. Therefore, an expanded network is something you can't ignore during your green holistic development.

Moreover, by becoming part of an active community, you can be placed at the forefront of the most recent advancements in sustainable energy technologies.

Tech worker showing his green skillsSource: Frame Stock Footage/Shutterstock

As the world becomes greener, there will be more opportunities to work with leading organisations that are committed to the environment. Hence, regular upskilling will be fundamental to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to green trends and the ongoing shift toward sustainability.

Airswift can help you

Here at Airswift, our goal is to connect tech talent with the best opportunities within the green transition. Looking for a role that can help you utilise and further hone your green skills? Visit our job board to discover the latest roles across industries such as Renewables, Power, IT, Chemicals and more.

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