I am sure you've heard about petroleum engineering as a very lucrative career option. However there are some skeptics who have serious doubts if one should pursue a career in petroleum engineering. To know further details, you can check out this article by cost of college to better understand the current issue at hand. On the other side of the story, I firmly believe that petroleum industry will continue to do well (beyond expectations) in the future. I am sure that those who doubt this field will talk about global warming & decreasing oil reserves across the world.
State of Oil & Gas Sector
But before you draw any conclusions, let's just say that the crude oil industry is thriving well and it will be in demand for the next 40 years (minimum). Let's face it, peace and security is not the only concern for United States. In order to preserve our own energy/natural resources, we must continue to import oil from other countries like Middle East. It's not a matter of right or wrong, nations who controls the major crude oil reserves will continue to reign in future.
Getting back to academics & career, there will be plenty of high paying jobs available for those who will either do bachelor's or masters in oil & gas engineering. For post graduates, there are other specialization options available like reservoir regulations, petrophysics, and oil drilling mechanics. According to many top sources, a petroleum engineer earns approximately $99,000 per year on average. The job pays more than any other related engineering field as per salary data provided by Payscale.
If you're planning to pursue petroleum engineering as a major; first & foremost you must enroll in a good petroleum program to make the most of your education. You should also note that this major is offered by only a few select schools, so it's critical to score really well in ACT/GRE & other exams for getting accepted to these programs. Even if you consider petroleum engineering as a depleting field, there are more reasons to cheer than complain about what's going to happen to the industry in the future.
Developing nations like China & India need oil to continue their growth momentum; any other alternative technology will not transform the current state of industrial trend. The demand for oil & gas in developing nations is continuing to rise as we speak, there is no other way to fulfill this huge demand. Until the world finds a way to a cheaper or alternative source of energy, the oil industry is here to stay for a long time to come. As we move forward, the need for alternative energy & fuel will give us more options to consider but until then oil is the primary source of energy for most of the countries in the world.
Scholarships & Future Potential
The cost of education is constantly rising, it's probably a good idea to hunt for financial aid before enrolling into college. There are also plenty of merit based scholarship aid options for students. A few schools have directly tied up a scholarship partnership with oil companies around the world to encourage research and technology innovation. This can be a good opportunity for students who don't have a financial backup to pursue higher education. Hope this new year brings you prosperity and academic success in your life.
Additional Resources:- Society of Petroleum Engineers