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How would I go about getting into the oil/gas industry?

  1. Apr 6, 2012 #1
    I'm currently studying a degree in Materials Science and Engineering at a good University in England. My course is a 3 year BEng but I could change to an MEng if necessary.

    I was just wondering what i'd need to do to make myself stand out: What skills could I acquire at Uni to help me out when it comes to applying?

    Would I need to do a Masters? If so, what in? What jobs could I get with my current degree?

    I realise that i've just asked a lot of questions, so an answer to any at all would be really quite helpful.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2012 #2


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    Start reading some of the trade magazines of the oil and gas industry and get a feel for what they are looking for and where you might find a fit. I think you will find that they employ almost every kind of engineer in some capacity, so the problem is to find some that you like and then find where that fits into there needs.

    For example, they do a lot of work in off shore technology with robotics, so if that happened to interest you, you could develop that line and run with it. They certainly do a huge amount with corrosion and other materials related work, so that is wide open. They do lots of machinery related work, so that's another option. Instrumentation is yet another way to go. You need to get familiar with the industry for starters.
  4. Apr 6, 2012 #3
    When I was reading their websites corrosion seemed like the way to go for my degree discipline, a masters also looks like it might be needed.

    Thanks for the idea of looking at trade magazines etc
  5. Apr 8, 2012 #4
    I have experience in the oil & gas industry in Aberdeen, the heart of the European oil & gas industry.

    Firstly, yes, do the MEng. Many companies only recruit MEng graduates nowadays. There really is no reason to stop at the BEng if you are a home student and pay home fees. An MEng (or MSc) is required for chartership

    Secondly, your degree discipline isn't particularly important for a many roles in industry, just as long as it's an MEng. So don't just limit yourself to roles you think that materials science/engineering could be useful to! And many companies run graduate schemes anyway where you're rotated around different departments.

    Lastly, apply, apply, apply! You don't get anywhere unless you apply. So apply to everywhere that you can. Most of the big oil companies have online applications that you fill in and they get back to you fairly quickly. These applications are fairly generic and don't ask for much - if anything - industry specific. I've been to several assessment centres and interviews where people knew extremely little about the industry, so it's definitely not a prerequisite to be familiar with the industry. It'll be someone from HR that reads your application anyway and they definitely won't be familiar with it.

    The skills you need are the same as any other type of graduate job, from accounting to consultancy. You need to be a good team player, you need to be a good communicator, you need to have good communication and interpersonal skills, and you need to have good analytical ability. Start practising SHL tests (available online) as these are the standard tests that many companies use to assess your numerical and verbal reasoning abilities.

    To make yourself stand out you need to have experience of some sort (e.g. internships) and good extra-curriculars. Again, the standard for many graduate jobs.

    Oh, and you'll usually need a 2:1 or above for many graduate schemes, or be on track for a 2:1 or above for many internships.

    So, in summary, the same advice applies as applies to almost any other graduate job.

    Anything else you want to know just ask.
  6. Apr 8, 2012 #5
    which one? I'm thinking about doing this at Swansea, but what are other places like?
  7. Apr 9, 2012 #6
    Cheers! Will take the MEng advice into account... I was thinking about trying to get away with doing a BEng (this missus' is a year older than me, so an MEng would mean she'd be working for two years before I have a job!) but if an MEng would be beneficial than i'll do that.

    I'll probably be bothering you, asking for advice closer to the time! What is your experience in if you don't mind me asking?

    I'm at the University of Sheffield atm, I can't recommend Sheffield enough as a city to live in. Great place to live and the department seems decent enough. It's a fair size in comparison to other unis, but it still feels pretty close knit. If you have any other questions about the course or the uni feel free to ask me.
  8. Apr 10, 2012 #7
    An internship with an independent operator in the subsea side of things. If you want to ask other questions closer to the time then hit me a PM.

    Definitely do the MEng. It's the prerequisite for a lot of big companies who recruit from all over. The companies that are okay with just a BEng tend to be smaller and only recruit locally.
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