On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on Houston’s energy workforce with Houston Public Media News 88.7 Business Reporter Andrew Schneider.
The growth in U.S. production of oil and gas has increased demand for skilled workers, which are in short supply. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer and professor of petroleum and chemical engineering at the University of Houston, recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss the implications of the high demand.
The demand for technically and non-technically trained energy industry workers has far out-stretched supply, Krishnamoorti said, due in part to the recent “crew change.”
“The crew change is the idea that the older generation of workforce will retire, and the new generation will come in,” Krishnamoorti said. “That started about 15 years ago when the kids from the ‘60s retired but continued to work. Today, we’re starting to see a lot of these people retire.”
In light of the demand for skilled workers, the industry and universities are addressing the issue through new and expanded STEM programs, although there are other areas students can gain education in to succeed in the energy industry, Krishnamoorti said. Finance, business and regulatory degrees are among the fields that can be integrated with technology and engineering knowledge.
“We need the hard sciences, we need the math. There are a variety of fields where you don’t need those and can still be a significant, functioning part of the energy economy. You don’t have to be experts in the hard sciences or mathematics areas in order to have an impact on the energy business.”
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