The flux in high-tech jobs in the renewable energy field has prompted Illinois State University to look at offering a bachelor’s degree in the field.
This article in the Matoon and Charleston, Illinois Journal Gazette Times-Courier says the degree would offer studies in biofuels, wind, and solar power:
If approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, ISU will launch the new major in the fall of 2008, joining just a handful of U.S. universities that have created renewable energy degrees since the Oregon Institute of Technology established the nation’s first program in 2005.
“It’s still cutting edge, so it’s like those folks who got into the computer field before everybody had a PC. They’ll be that far ahead of the game,” said Tehri Parker, executive director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
The article goes on to say employers have already been contacting the school… five years before the earliest class would even be earning the new degrees.
An analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists says there are potentially 355,000 jobs to be created in the electrical sector alone if Congress approves the group’s guidelines of 20% of electrical energy production coming from renewable sources by the year 2020.