As more potential candidates begin educating themselves on the different industries and businesses in the market today, there is an easier way to look at the energy industry that makes multifaceted businesses easier to understand.
Modern society continues to consume large amounts of fuel. As such, the energy industry remains an integral part of the infrastructure and maintenance of almost all global countries. When it comes to understanding the various facets of the energy industry, Wikipedia defines it as, "The totality of all of the industries involved in the production and sale of energy, including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution."
To help clarify this further, consider the following energy disciplines that fall under this wide umbrella:
- The petroleum industry; which includes: oil companies, petroleum refiners, fuel transport and end-user sales at gas stations.
- The gas industry; which includes: natural gas extraction, and coal gas manufacture, as well as distribution and sales.
- The electrical power industry; which includes: electricity generation, electric power distribution and sales.
- The coal industry; defined as the producers or companies of coal engaged in a particular kind of commercial enterprise.
- The nuclear power industry is defined as those concerned with the generation of nuclear power and associated manufacturing and trading activities (including the production of nuclear weapons).
- The renewable energy industry is comprised of alternative energy and sustainable energy companies. Included are those involved in hydroelectric power, wind power, and solar power generation, and the manufacture, distribution and sale of alternative fuels.
- Traditional energy industry which is based on the collection and distribution of firewood, the use of which, for cooking and heating, is particularly common in poorer countries.
The Defining Energy Jobs
For candidates looking to break into the energy industry, there are two main terms that define this unique jobs market: upstream and downstream. The following definitions will assist anyone in understanding the basics of the energy industry job tracks.
Upstream Energy Jobs
For the gas and oil industry, upstream energy jobs are primarily comprised of those companies searching for crude oil and/or natural gas fields, as well as those maintaining drilling and/or well operations.
Downstream Energy Jobs
When discussing downstream energy jobs, these refers to the sector that refines petroleum crude oil and purifies natural gas. In total, it encompasses oil processes, transportation, refining, storage services.
Energy Candidates of the Future
As candidates begin to familiarize themselves with each energy segment, they ought to pay close attention to energy trends reports to determine both short- and long-term expectations for their skill sets.
In short, there are many transferable skills needed in each segment. From engineering requirements to more digital-based proficiencies including: IT professionals with strong backgrounds in secure software development, cloud security, networking monitoring and intrusion detection.
Specifically, in oil and gas and manufacturing, companies are creating new roles for decision makers who have backgrounds in LEAN, SIX Sigma, Operations Excellence and Continuous Improvement. The Internet of Things (IoT) technology is reshaping how oil and gas companies optimize operational performance.
The bottom line is job seekers who can demonstrate strong digital skills – including cybersecurity expertise will have a much easier time finding employment in the future.
About the Author Catherine Rary serves as the Vice President of Enterprise Solutions Sales and is responsible for new RPO account development at Yoh. Prior to this role Catherine has served as a leader in the staffing industry for over 25 years. Catherine has holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Alabama.