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The Green Jobs Boom!

The Green Jobs Boom!
March 13, 2023 Rosie Ranson

Statistics show that, enrolment in courses relating to renewable energy has increased by 70% in Scotland during the past four years. According to Scottish Renewables, 22,000 undergrads are studying courses from engineering to math, that are relevant to the industry. The same survey from 2019 stated that there were roughly 13,000 young people enrolled in comparable programmes. This is an increase of 69% and demonstrates the attractiveness of the industry. Chief executive of Scottish Renewables Claire Mack said: “These numbers show the impact renewable energy is already having on Scotland’s economy and the attractiveness of green jobs to today’s young people.” [1]

green jobs boom

Figure 1: Photography of People Graduating. [2]

Renewable Energy Courses

According to a Freedom of Information Act request, engineering (5,373 students) and business (1,202 students) are the two academic fields with the greatest numbers of students enrolling in courses on renewable energy, closely followed by management (742). According to the colleges and universities, renewable energy is also related to courses in biotechnology, design, physics and astronomy. The universities with the greatest number of students are Glasgow Caledonian University (3,312), University of St. Andrews (2,596), and the University of Glasgow (1,943).

Jenifer Johnston, head of communications and public affairs at Colleges Scotland, said: “Renewable energy and all the supporting technology and services which the sector needs is a hugely exciting part of Scotland’s economy. Building a career in renewables starts at college, and every college in Scotland is delivering courses where learners gain the skills and knowledge they need to thrive.” [3]

Growing Opportunities Following Graduation

According to research by Skills Development Scotland, there were roughly 100,000 “green jobs” in 2021. It claimed that determining the actual number was challenging for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the absence of a defined definition of a “green job.” Some may include greener components, like a plumber installing heat pumps, while some may be directly related to sustainability or renewable engineering. But it said almost 40% of all vacancies could now be described as “green jobs”. [4]

A Green Way Forward

The United Nations Environment Programme, the global authority for the environment with programmes focusing on climate, nature, pollution, sustainable development and more, states that the following steps are necessary to build bridges between the government, employers in the green sector, and educational institutions:

  • Bring a green lens to all professions; 
  • Increase job placement of students;
  • Improve quality of curricula to meet career pathway and employer needs;
  • Connect students to practitioners for applied projects/research;
  • And enhance green entrepreneurship.

The switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources will require work from all parties: governments will need to provide more technical education; universities will need to create stronger, more comprehensive curricula and teacher preparation programmes; and businesses will need to form partnerships with universities to update curricula and promote mentorship and technological innovations based on research. [5]

A Look to The Future

By working together, the government, employers in the green sector, and educational institutions can all work together to help build the next generation of renewable energy warriors.

About Pager Power

Pager Power undertakes technical assessments for developers of renewable energy projects and tall buildings worldwide. For more information about what we do, please get in touch.


[1] Keane, K. (2023) The students at the heart of the Green Jobs Boom, BBC News. BBC. Available at:
[2] Ranquist, E. (2018) Photography of People Graduation on Last accessed on 13th March 2023. Available at:
[3] Ltd, reN.E.W.S. (2023) Scottish Renewables Students ‘rise by 70%’, reNEWS. Available at:
[4] First Minister (2020) Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland: The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2020-2021.
[5] Secretariat, R.E.N. (2021) Evolving education for a renewables-based economy, REN21. Available at:



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