Petroleum, Chemical Engineering Grads Face Uncertainty In Job Search

Saturday, May 9th 2015, 9:55 pm
By: News On 6

It's graduation weekend for schools across the state, including those at the University of Tulsa.

But some students may have a long road ahead in the job market, especially with jobs in the oil and gas industry.

Another year, another TU graduation, and while the economy may be favoring some students, others aren't so lucky this year.

“Now go from this place, changed, transformed, celebrate the exciting possibilities of life that lie ahead…”

It's the most highly anticipated day in a college student's career.

Some graduates, like electrical engineering major Stephan West, will be heading directly into their designated career field.

"I had an internship throughout most of my schooling here, and then they hired me right out of grad school,” West said.

But other students, particularly petroleum and chemical engineering majors, aren't having as much luck as the price of oil lingers just under $60 a barrel.

“Petroleum used to be really easy because it was one of the best schools for petroleum, but with the economy, it's a little bit harder now since the economy has hit petroleum so hard," West said.

Students said companies just don't seem to have as many openings.

“One particular kid, he had a lot of really good grades and he still had trouble. He's had a real hard time getting a job, and I'm not sure he ever found one or not. But I know it definitely was harder with the economy and the gas," Khalid Alkhalid said.

Alkhalid is a mechanical engineering graduate, but was hoping for a job in the oil and gas industry and says if he doesn't get one, he has a plan B.

“If I haven't found any job, I will do my grad school,” Alkhalid said.

But students said they're hopeful and believe things may get better by next year.

Either way, this is still the day they've been waiting for.