Colorado has been riding the green jobs wave for years, and Denver, which is home to Vestas Wind Systems, solar firms and companies focused on clean energy technologies, is leading the state. In 2007, there were 1,778 green businesses in Colorado that accounted for more than 17,000 jobs, and job growth in the clean energy industry has increased more than 18 percent between 1998 and 2007.
Local institutions like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory continue to advance green technology and green-collar job opportunities, and NREL funding has almost doubled under the Obama administration. In fact, investments in green jobs have helped Denver maintain an unemployment rate below the national average and generally outperform the U.S. economy.
Denver is also home to the Ecotech Institute, which offers two-year degrees and certification tracks. Students who want to continue their education and advance their green expertise can consider Ecotech to study everything from renewable energy technology to sustainable interior design.
CareerBuilder.com recently included Denver on its list of cities for new grads, noting that rent is affordable at $799.