In addition to the effects on the environment, the quality of life and the air we breathe, climate change is creating new conditions in several sectors, such as work. New professions or even old ones with a new role have now appeared. These are the so-called new “green jobs”.
The Orientation and Professional Career Sciences Laboratory of the Faculty of Philosophy of EKPA has prepared a new career orientation guide with the aim of helping students to “navigate” in the new professional reality such as she formed. The director of the Laboratory, Katerina Argyropoulou, explains to the APE-MPE that “green professions” are the new trend, but even the most traditional professions can become more “green”.
But what are these new professions for which demand has already started to increase? It is a “range of professions that have emerged as a result of climate change, such as environmental engineers, geologists, hydrologists or atmospheric specialists, designers of ‘smart’ houses or even from ‘smart’ cities, hydroponic/organic farmers, textile and paint specialists, anti-fouling system installation technicians, operators of material recycling facilities/maintenance of photovoltaic and solar systems”, emphasizes Ms Argyropoulou and adds that there are also “new paths” of older professions, “such as lawyers for ecological protection issues, visual artists with non-toxic materials, climate protection ambassadors, AI scientists, experts in environmental development, consultants in sustainable entrepreneurship, creating professions that move away from overconsumption and contribute to a healthier planet.
This does not necessarily mean that other more “classic” professions will disappear, as long as they adapt to the new reality that has formed. “The sustainability of these professions is linked to the choices we make and this also concerns our professional life. Ecological well-being tends to become a common pursuit as we see eg companies that represent fast fashion and have been criticized for their tactics, to demonstrate their environmental concerns by creating clothing from recycled materials.There are certainly ways for every professional to act in a more environmentally friendly way, either by recycling the materials they use, or by choosing materials that are less restrictive for the environment”, emphasizes Ms. Argyropoulou, referring to the redistribution of resources, both economic and natural, wealth, which will result from new professional choices, as well as a new hierarchy of needs.
“Think about the issue of energy or the issue of overconsumption. If our way of life changes, our priorities will certainly change, which will affect all professions and the economy in general. Over the years, of course, and after establishing a healthier, eco-friendly mentality – eg. if we get to the point where we stop running on gas – some professions are at risk of falling into oblivion, as happens with any major socio-economic change.”
The Scientific and Professional Orientation Laboratory of EKPA, taking into account the effects of the environment on the professional career of individuals, has developed a support intervention entitled: “Career in… green”, aimed at cultivating the ecological awareness of the professions.
“The intervention benefits 4 main pillars of career guidance (self-knowledge, career information, decision-making, transition) and links them to environmental aspects. The intervention is implemented either within the framework of collective professional information, or by the provision of individual professional guidance services. In other words, the specific intervention helps beneficiaries to understand what is happening in the environment, what it means for their own career and that of others, and to think about how they might react and use this phenomenon in relation to a “green” future”, underlines the director of the Laboratory of Sciences of Orientation and Professional Career of the Faculty of Philosophy of EKPA.
The good news is that in Greece there are already educational institutions that award degrees in the fields mentioned above. “Currently, in the computerized report of the 2nd area, there are two departments of environmental engineering in Thessaloniki and Xanthi as well as environmental departments in Larissa, Mytilini and Zakynthos which can be accessed from both the 2nd and the 3rd and 4th scientific area In fact, they are departments with a very weak base, which is explained, in part, by the fact that they are outside Athens but, above all, because, unfortunately, still in Greece, we have not fully realized the importance of these professions for our future.In fact, a recent survey shows that only 1% of national professionals work in this field, which is the lowest percentage in Europe. Of course, there are other departments related to anti-pollution technologies and environmental protection, like, for example, the departments of geology and geoenvironment, oceanography and marine life sciences, mineral resources engineering, agriculture , materials science, physics and chemical engineering, with the appropriate specializations.
However, a mathematician, chemist, civil engineer, architect or computer scientist can, well, with the proper mastery, join this very interesting and critically important professional field which concerns the welfare of the community. world”, notes Ms. Argyropoulou. . In conclusion, he stresses that young people, whatever professional path they choose to follow, must redefine their values with environmental sensitivity, aiming at quality of life, developing “green” and “ecological” skills (awareness of environment, promotion of sustainable development, green technologies) who cultivate a new “green” role, become familiar with modern professions and try to find their aspects related to sustainable development, seek information on climate change and act with sensitivity in the face of challenges.
For the compilation of the new guide, the following people collaborated: Maria Divari, Aspasia Karavia, Aristides Lorentzos, Katerina Mikedaki, Nikolaos Mouratoglou, Penelope Belki, Panagiota Benekou, Sofia Papatheodorou, Maria Skoulaki and Argyro Harokopaki.