In response to the scale of the economic, energy and environmental challenges of the 21st century (energy security, restructuring of global growth, climate change, access to water, local atmospheric pollution, biodiversity, demographic pressure…), several Université Paris Saclay schools, in partnership with Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, École des Ponts ParisTech, EHESS, the IFP school, and INSTN, have pooled their skills in economic research to understand the fundamental features and mechanisms that define a sustainable economic dynamic.
The objective of the Masters program is to give future researchers and senior executives a grasp of multiple disciplines (economics, engineering sciences, life sciences) and tools (economic analysis, modelling, institutional analysis, governance) that they can implement in a pursuit of sustainable governance. The aim is to give them a good understanding of the issues and concepts, so that they can respond relevantly and creatively to the challenges of the 21st-century: environmental pressures, inequalities between North and South, demographics, local and global scale structure of the economic fabric…
The different modules in the Masters program seek to establish a coherent overview of sustainable development issues, to convey a scientific culture (economics, energy, analysis of key sectors such as transportation, agriculture, industry), to implement mathematical modelling tools (statistics, economics, optimization) and define their scope of application, to raise awareness of the concrete challenges of sustainability but also of epistemological, managerial, political, and ethical dimensions of sustainable development. To achieve this, the partner organizations draw on the skills of academics, researchers, and professionals:
- specialists in the main fields at the interface between the environment and economic development;
- covering all the main concrete factors in play for the environmental component of sustainable development;
- providing both modelling skills and an in-depth exploration of the concepts and issues;
- strongly embedded in the economic approach to problems.
Apart from the PhD option, which is a natural next step from this program, the skills acquired can be relevant to careers in engineering design offices, in companies facing growing demand for sustainability and environmental evaluation at all levels of their organization, in regional administrations, local authorities, professional groups, and NGOs. Students can join strategic sustainable development departments, Environment, Health, and Safety management units,…
For most students, the program leads to job opportunities in large companies (some 30% of openings in the “Environment” option, a slightly higher rate in the “Energy” option), whether in strategic and economic divisions or in “sustainable development” divisions.
One important opening is expert evaluation, with 15 to 20% of students finding a job in research and consultancy firms. Carbon finance and energy finance have also attracted significant numbers of students in recent years, notably focusing on the needs to identify, manage, and certify projects that generate carbon reduction credits, energy-saving certificates, or renewable energy certificates. In terms of sectors, it should be noted that there are very significant openings in bioenergy and forestry for students on both options. This is also true for agriculture, and the food and water sectors for the “Environment” option.
In addition to these main openings, in recent years everyone in the business world has been facing growing demand for sustainability and environmental evaluation at all levels of their organization. Regional and local authorities, business federations and NGOs thus represent some 15 to 20% of job opportunities, especially in the “Environment” option.