Students and Recent Graduates Struggle to Find Jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry

Students and Recent Graduates Struggle to Find Jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry

January 6, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted just about every industry and the negative effects are countless. The transition of so many Americans working from home left fewer people commuting along with fewer people traveling, which struck the oil and gas industry hard.

Oil and gas companies have laid off more than 100,000 American workers. Since Spring, we have seen numerous businesses closing refineries across the country and some sought bankruptcy protection.

While over 100,000 energy workers have lost their jobs, there is also the issue of recent graduates looking for jobs in an industry cautious of the months ahead. And with an incoming Biden administration, rightfully so.

The New York Times reports:

“We got a slap in the face, an entirely unforeseen situation that rocked our entire mind-set,” said Ms. [Sabrina] Burns, [a student at the University of Texas at Austin] who is studying petroleum engineering. “I have applied for every oil and gas position I’ve seen, like all my classmates, and nothing really has turned up. I’m discouraged.”

The industry has attracted thousands of young people in recent years with the promise of secure careers as shale drilling took off and made the United States the world’s largest producer of oil. But many students and recent graduates say they are no longer sure that there is a place for them in the industry. Even after the pandemic ends, some of them fear that growing concerns about climate change will lead to the inevitable decline of oil and gas.

The valuable oil and gas industry deserves to be protected along with the almost 10 million American jobs it supports. The crash in oil prices combined with the pandemic has shaken the industry, and along with it the workforce and future careers of young adults entering the industry. It is imperative for the resilient oil and gas industry to recover. We can only hope Biden’s administration doesn’t further restrict and regulate the struggling industry.