A recent poll by EY looks at the workforce challenges across the oil and gas industry. One of the major challenges being that the younger generation does not want to work with oil and gas companies. The survey targeted the members of Generation Z and the Millennials.
According to the survey, from a career perspective, how the younger generations perceive the oil and gas industry presents a significant challenge. Unpredictable, unstable, difficult, blue collar, and harmful to the environment and society, is how they view the industry.
How does working with Oil and Gas companies look like to the younger generation?
The EY poll results reflect that just 6% of the Generation Z respondents and 18% of Millennials find a career in the oil and gas industry “very appealing”. What comes across as a major concern is that “more than two out of every three teens believe the oil and gas industry causes problems rather than solves them. And teens and millennials are far less likely than older consumers to agree that oil and gas are ‘good for society’.”
Working with Oil and Gas Companies: Is it that bad?
Perceptions often cloud the truth. Yes, there are challenges that persist with the industry. But viewing this sector in altogether a negative light is doing injustice to the years of hard work put in by the people in oil and gas. Considering the fact that oil is the engine of the world economy and the industry operates on an extremely complex scale, it would be wrong to assume that it’s all sunshine. Every industry has its unique challenges.
Amidst this backdrop, let’s reflect upon the opinion of younger generations and why exactly they do not wish to work with oil and gas companies. The survey by EY brings into perspective some dimensions of this conversation which are discussed in this article.
Lack of awareness regarding jobs in the industry
There is a clear lack of awareness among the younger generation regarding the diverse job roles in oil and gas companies. Energy Dais recently conducted a general career survey. We found that most young individuals do not have much information about non-technical roles in the industry. Moreover, the lack of awareness here also translates into a lack of interest.
(Click here to participate in the Oil and Gas Career Survey by Energy Dais)
The survey by EY reveals that “the majority see oil and gas as a blue-collar profession; only 10% of Gen Z respondents and 13% of millennials mentioned “engineer” when asked for a typical oil and gas job that comes to mind, and only 22% of Gen Z and 26% of millennials responded with a specific white-collar position.”
However, the flip side of the narrative is that with the ongoing digital revolution in the industry, there is a new wave of innovation. With this arrive, more progressive career opportunities.
Awareness of environmental issues
Another major reason highlighted by the survey for finding a career in oil and gas unappealing is their awareness of environmental issues.
“23% of respondents say that the industry is harmful for the environment to some extent. Particularly, the teens strongly believe that oil companies do not care about what’s best for their generation, even though teens say they have the most significant stake in long term environmental outcomes due to their age. Conversely, 66% of teens said they found a job working in green energy appealing.”
Oil and Gas Executives recognize this aspect. 53% of executives on why jobs in oil and gas are unappealing to younger generations, said the industry is viewed as ‘old or dirty’ and 21% cited the negative environmental impact.
What the Oil and Gas Companies believe the younger generations want vs What the Young People actually want
This highly informative survey highlights that there is a clear disconnect between what the oil and gas companies think that young people want from the industry and what they really want. The results show that a handsome salary is not all that appeals to the younger generations. They also care a lot about job stability, work culture, work life balance, happiness, and most importantly, they need a reason to believe in what they are doing.
(Suggested Read: Why Oil and Gas Companies should promote a healthy work life balance?)
Women in Energy: The Gender Divide
Not just this survey but research by other organizations also indicates the skewed ratio of women in the industry.
The EY poll reveals that women don’t see the industry as a viable career choice. Women represent a major share of the non-engineering talent pool and also believe that the industry is male-dominated.
It is true that the industry has taken steps to inspire girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. But these efforts will take time.
Exploring Career in Oil and Gas with Energy Dais
For exploring an exciting and successful career in oil and gas, you need to stay informed about relevant career opportunities across the industry. This is where Energy Dais steps in. With a dedicated oil and gas jobs portal and our services for career help, we help you find the right opportunity.
(This article is based on general research. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Dais.)