Oceans cover two-thirds of the planet. When we account for lakes, rivers, ponds, glaciers, etc., 71% of the Earth's surface is covered in water.
Conserving our oceans and waterways is discussed often, but the industry behind sustainably protecting and utilizing the Earth's water sources is less well known. The blue economy is a $1.5 trillion industry projected to grow to $3 trillion by 2030. Jobs like Environmental Engineers, Fish Hatchery Managers, and even Financial Directors help shape our water's future as part of the blue economy.
TMA BlueTech Founder Michael Jones refers to the blue economy as the "invisible sector" because while it's an industry with high-growth, well-paying jobs and the ability to affect change, it isn't on many students' radars. TMA Bluetech, a non-profit industry association promoting BlueTech jobs, sees collaboration as critical when promoting sustainable, technology-based ocean and water industries.
"The beautiful thing about working with the water/ocean," says Tamara Kahn, TMA BlueTech Program Manager, "is that it's critical to all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, or level of education." She continues, "Something Melissa Fischel, our Former Director of Education and Workforce Development, always liked to say was that BlueTech jobs range from GED to Ph.D. levels. There's a need for a diverse workforce."
To get students interested in BlueTech jobs, TMA BlueTech partnered with VirtualJobShadow.com to create a series of seventeen job shadowing videos highlighting a diverse range of careers from a Tugboat Captain to a Biotech Scientist. "It's been a perfect marriage," says Kahn, "We want to reach kids who otherwise wouldn't be exposed to these careers. The storytelling VirtualJobShadow.com offers is the perfect way to go, especially with this generation of kids who are so attuned to video-learning." When they selected the companies featured in the videos, Kahn says they looked for "companies that wanted to share what they're doing and find the innovators of tomorrow."
For students interested in BlueTech jobs who don't live near an ocean, Kahn points out that all water systems are connected, and there is much to learn close to home. "Pay attention to your everyday world," Kahn advises. "Think about where things like water, food, and even trash, come from, and where they go. It takes a lot of people to help our home planet sustain us. And it takes a lot of people to help sustain our generous planet."
VirtualJobShadow.com and VJSJunior.com customers can find all the BlueTech Job Shadowing Videos in Career Central by using the Industry filter and selecting "Maritime/Blue economy." You can learn more about TMA BlueTech on their website.