The focus on gas prices rising, gas prices dropping and the dreaded announcement of worker layoffs is affecting students at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, a university located right at the heart of the petroleum industry.
Finding a job after graduation can be frightening for any student. Professor Fathi Boukadi is head of the Petroleum Engineering Department at UL Lafayette says being in the hub city gives his students the upper-hand they need in finding a job after graduation.
One senior student, Alla Kirsnova, agrees by saying, “They kind of have a hard time looking for this particular area other places. So they do specifically come here and recruit for Louisiana itself, so I think it’s a good area to be in.”
While a recent study showed over 100,000 global oil industry layoffs in 2015. The department at UL Lafayette expects to graduate its largest class ever of over 100 students this year. Heather Hodges is a senior, graduating in May and says she’s one of the fortunate students to already have a job lined up after graduation.
“We are flooding the industry right now with so many people coming out so it does make it more difficult to get a job but it also makes you raise your game to the challenge .” said Hodges.
Hodges said being young and fresh out of school has its advantages for the graduating class.
“The oil dropping in the eighties and the rise in oil prices now the gap in age in engineers is huge. so they are going to need all these people eventually and we all will get jobs i’m very positive about it.” said Hodges
The Petroleum Engineering Department has a history of 100% placement. Dr. Boukadi says the students that are graduating are high performers and that the industry will only cut low-skilled workers. He says he is confident members of the class of 2015 will all find jobs.