Is the Oil Industry a dying field?
The oil industry can be a touchy subject for different people all over Canada. In some provinces, the oil industry is favoured and seen as a strong economic symbol; other provinces and people tend not to see it that way. There can be very specific positives and negatives of the industry and as time goes by, they become clearer.
Climate change is forcing a limit on the emissions that we humans create. From some politicians, scientists and activists, there is focus on limiting the sources of pollution, particularly on what are called ‘greenhouse gases’ like carbon dioxide (CO2). This is a rather controversial line of thought depending on your view of environmental science, but it is climate change that is driving research into other alternative methods of fuel – that of solar and wind, for example.
Oil is still necessary to the economy at the moment, but “job stability” is not a secure statement anymore. The oil industry is tied tightly with the price of oil – and therefore, when the oil price swings upward, the amount of jobs increase; on the other hand, this can mean more job loss. It’s not uncommon – this can be applied to other economic sectors as well, but the oil industry is particularly seen as ‘unstable’ in recent years, because of the lack of stability in gaining and providing that oil. Alberta has seen tough times in recent years due to changes in the price of oil.
In addition to the price versus demand shift for oil, there are increasing technological advancements being made. Just like all other fields, this means that less people are required in order to complete the same job that would have taken more people in the past. Renewable energy is another sector that is relatively new – as technology advances, so will the demands of the public – and therefore, a different range of jobs will be available. Oil is not going to be around forever and it will be beneficial for the newer generations to invest in learning more about industries like wind and solar- it is inevitably the future of energy and power in our world.
Now, all of the above does not mean that the oil industry is not worth considering a career in; but these are factors to consider. The reason I say this is because oil is a limited resource – and the weather (solar, wind, water) will be around a lot longer than oil; therefore, it is recommended to research career options that offer more opportunities for job growth and advancement. This thought is not just for your generation, but future generations. If you are curious about the science of where oil comes from, how it is derived from the earth, and how much we have on earth, do your research and find out if it is the career choice for you.