Students getting Petroleum Engineering degrees

Posted at 4:32 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 22:09:52-04

Despite the state of the oil industry, it's not stopping students at Cal State Bakersfield from getting degrees in Petroleum Engineering.

School officials told 23ABC News that they've actually seen an increase in student enrollment for their engineering program.

A degree in that field can prepare students for a broad range of careers outside of the oil industry.

"Our projections for the engineering sciences are about four times what we expected them to be this time in our history," said Anne Houtman, who is a dean at the university.

She said, students in the engineering program have the option of specializing in petroleum engineering - a highly coveted bachelors.

"We know that students who graduate with a STEM degree, even if they end up not going into a stem career, make more money," she said.

Houtman said employers recognize there is a broad range of skills acquired through STEM degrees, those focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, something financial advisor at Moneywise Inc., Garro Ellis agrees with.

"It's a tough degree to get. Just shows that you are pursuing something that takes a little bit of knowledge," he said.

Ellis said, with or with the petroleum specialization, an engineering degree is versatile.

"You can own a company, you can be a receptionist, you can go to work for Walmart, Home Depot, as manager positions."

Jason Ashurst, who works for Chevron but is continuing his education said, if oil is your passion, it is worth going after it.

"The uncertainty in the industry now makes it even more important for us to better understand more aspects of the business. It will better prepare us for additional job opportunities," said Ashurst.

Right now there are 658 students enrolled in the engineering program and the school expects that number to grow.


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