November 2014: Engineered for Success
For hiring managers, engineering roles are in high demand, difficult-to-fill and a top hiring priority. The skills gap left by the retiring older generation of oil and gas professionals and the too few new graduates entering is problematic. The good news is new engineering talent is on the way; however, companies must highlight the wealth of opportunities available in oil and gas.
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics show bachelor’s degrees conferred in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering and electrical engineering all rose year/year. While there’s no way to determine exactly which industry these professionals will ultimately choose, oil and gas companies who offer training and challenging work assignments will be the ones to lure the best and the brightest.
In the near term, companies looking for electrical engineers to troubleshoot equipment problems, provide design advice or effectively communicate with technical talent will have more than 13,000 new grads to choose from, up six percent from 2012. However, looking over the 10-year trend, graduates with this degree have declined six percent since 2003, but it’s too soon to tell how this downward trend will play out over the next few years.
Mechanical engineering, on the other hand, saw a seven percent rise from 2012 to 2013 in bachelor’s degrees granted. With more than 22,000 new mechanical engineers entering the workforce, companies may soon have an easier time filling positions which have been difficult-to-fill. In fact, mechanical engineer was the top position posted on Rigzone in the first half of the year.
But amid the growth of new engineering grads across a variety of disciplines, there’s an anomaly that directly impacts the oil and gas industry: bachelor degrees conferred upon women in petroleum engineering declined five percent year/year. This decline comes as a surprise, especially given the results of Rigzone’s survey with BP last year which found career prospects for women in the oil and gas industry had improved in recent years. It looks like companies still have work to do in attracting women to the industry.
For new graduates or engineers in other industries, now is the time to take advantage of the many job opportunities in oil and gas. Those who do will reap the benefits in the future.
Vice President, Content