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Texas Oil Industry Thinks Outside The Box To Get College Grads Onboard

It’s dirty and a little uncool. It’s not virtually shareable on all those social media sites like Instabook or Fracegram. We’re talking about jobs in the oil industry.

But one oil-centric state is taking matters into its own hands to recruit new hires and beating Big Tech at its own game, by offering high school graduates a plan that will put them through college without amassing any debt and offering them a six-figure salary to boot.

Oilprice suggested nearly a year ago that the oil industry needed to work harder to recruit those hard-to-get millennials. This could be offering a more millennial-friendly work/life balance, work-from-home options, premium on the job training, and student debt relief—all in lieu of being able to offer the group a sexy job in a sexy industry.

“Other industries are already doing most of those things, and the oil industry has too. But still, oil finds itself playing second fiddle to tech, because that’s just sexier. But oil and tech both have deep pockets, and the millennial generation has deep school debt. In fact, millennials have more school debt than any other generation. This is practically a marriage made in heaven. Paying off these student loans is a hot hot benefit, and has the ability to override other concerns about working in the oil industry,” as we mentioned last September.

And now, as the Permian looks at the daunting task of filling all the jobs it will need in future years—particularly after letting thousands in the industry go during the pandemic--the state of Texas is working with the Department of Energy and the Small Business Administration to take “opportunity zones” to “help train a workforce of rural Americans to be part of this new labor force,” Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian told Fox Business.

The plan would create a four-year energy program that would allow students to graduate debt-free and then walk right into a six-figure oil job. If successful, the program could bridge the divide between an industry that may need to fill tens of thousands of jobs over the next few years, and a hungry workforce that is looking for a lucrative job with a cause.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • former oil industry on July 07 2020 said:
    Why would anyone want to go into an industry that historically lays people off on a regular basis. been there, done that. got the hell out.
  • TJ Jones on July 06 2020 said:
    Would be interesting to hear more how this theory would work. As an insider, it is clear there is plenty of talent that the industry already can't keep or chooses to not pay to keep. While the lure of a free education may sound good, it would be in a dying industry. Those that stay in may do well, but also risk being part of businesses lacking the manpower and knowledge to continue being successful. The students that want to work in the industry and that will be needed to actually do the work that more experienced managers simply will not want to do or know how, will be those with non-petroleum degrees with lower understanding of the business, and also more likely to enjoy the up-cycle and then dip as soon as the going get's rough (because who wouldn't). It should be well known that oil executives essentially milk the companies and investors for their own benefit (look at decline in oil stocks vs positive S&P 500 trend over last decade), so the younger generations are left with lower pay, and a career likely to end abruptly when the industry implodes. Any attempt to slow the bleed of the oil and gas industry will be just that. There may be a place for it in the near future, but not anywhere near the size it has been prior to the downturn, likely ever again.
  • Bobby Parv on July 06 2020 said:
    How does this program make any sense for the oil industry? Why would they hire "new" graduates now if the companies are cutting existing staff and reducing capital and operating budgets? Can anyone explain? There are plenty of mid-level Oil professionals who are out of work and could be used to fill in this "so-called" bridge.

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