Graduate Education

Finding Your Place in the Business of Energy

An outdoor image of power lines and electricity towers in the sunrise lit sky.

From lighting and heating your home to fueling and maintaining an electric car, the products and benefits of energy production play a significant role in our daily lives. But how much does the average person really know about the energy business? 

“Most people understand that electricity is generated somewhere, but they don’t understand what happens in between,” says Gina Craan, adjunct professor in Clarkson’s Business of Energy master’s program.  “What has to happen before it actually makes it to our homes?”

According to the International Energy Agency, the U.S. alone invested $350 billion in the energy sector in 2018. With this level of investment, Craan says there is massive appeal to working in the energy industry due not only to the number of opportunities available, but also the range of areas of expertise available within the industry. 

Between maintaining existing energy sources (nuclear, gas, oil etc.) and planning to meet the increasing demand and interest in renewable energy opportunities, it is expected that the industry will continue to expand and become more complex in the years to come.

Opportunities in the Energy Business

From power stations and utility companies to the regulating bodies at the federal, state, and regional levels — the energy industry requires a variety of professional roles and specialized skills to meet both the technical and logistical demands of the field. 

With an industry so vast and complex, the need for a wide range of backgrounds and varying types of expertise may open the doors to a rewarding career opportunity you never realized existed.

Beyond engineers developing and supporting the industry’s infrastructure, the energy sector employs from across a wide range of backgrounds and fields. From policy makers, environmentalists and attorneys, to IT developers and economists. One role that is particularly coveted according to Craan is that of a project manager, a position that is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a range of project plans and processes. Regardless of your undergraduate degree, a place exists for you to make an impact on the business of energy.

In addition to the appeal its broad range of opportunities provides, the energy industry can also prove to be lucrative, with potential post-master’s salaries typically starting between $70-$130K, prior to entering into a management position.

Why Study at Clarkson

Our Business of Energy master’s program is focused on understanding every facet about how this industry works, exploring its history and formation, reliability requirements and energy market administration. Through coursework, our students gain critical business management skills, as well as the technical know-how to address the world’s biggest energy challenges. 

Our fully online program is designed to be accessible — you can study from anywhere. We also offer the option to study full- or part-time, allowing many of our students to continue working while they pursue their degree. 

Our Students

At Clarkson, we have fully embraced the idea that the energy industry has a place for everyone. Our Business of Energy master’s program is designed with enough flexibility to meet the needs of students with a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. 

Some students join the program immediately after completing their undergraduate degree, gaining both the foundational and specialized skill sets required in the energy industry. Courses are taught by highly qualified energy industry professionals, providing valuable connections and networking opportunities beyond graduation. 

A significant proportion of our students enter the program with years of experience. These students are often moving into a new role, such as a management position, and may receive partial or full tuition assistance from their current employer. Craan notes that for these students, the degree is about much more than “checking a box” of earning a master’s degree. Our curriculum is driven by current industry needs, exposing students to the newest practices and trends in a rapidly changing field. 

Ready to find your place in the energy industry? Explore Clarkson’s Business of Energy master’s program.

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