Major changes

As people look to green jobs to help an ailing economy and planet, colleges and universities nationwide are scrambling to keep up with the demand for environmental majors and minors from students and potential employers looking for skilled workers.

USA Today reports that more than 100 majors, minors or certificates in energy and sustainability-focused programs were created in 2009 at places of higher learning. Compare that to 2005, when only three programs were added, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

The Obama administration estimated that jobs in energy and environmental fields will grow 52 percent from 2000 to 2016, compared to 14 percent for other occupations, the paper reported.

In Northern Nevada, the University of Nevada, Reno added a renewable energy minor in 2008, with a working geothermal lab underway. Truckee Meadows Community College also started a renewable energy program recently, including a working solar lab, and its courses are regularly full.