MAKING THE RIGHT STEP TO A CAREER IN OIL AND GAS
Following the discovery of oil in Ghana, there is a cross-section of Ghanaians such as; parents, student at the various levels in our educational system, as well as people who are already employed in various industries and specializations who are currently debating career opportunities within the evolving oil and gas industry in Ghana.
There are quite a number of career areas in the industry, but by and large one can group them into three key areas as follows;
Careers in E&P companies and their partners
Careers in Oil Service Companies
Careers in third party service providers
This article attempts to sensitize readers on some of the important aspects when considering a career in the Oil and gas industry. The views expressed here should only serve as a guide and readers are advised to seek further information from professional careers officers.
Parent: How do I get my teenage ward to have the requisite training to start a career in the oil and gas industry in Ghana?
First of all it is very important for young people to discover which subject areas interests them and they are naturally good at. When this is known to the child/teenager, is becomes easier to identify which courses to choose in the secondary level that would suite their capabilities. The oil industry comprises sectors that cut across all the various disciplines in our educational system. In effect, they are no special prerequisite in terms of talent that is exclusively needed to work in the oil and Gas industry per se. What is imperative at this age is good grades and excelling at which ever course he or she has chosen to pursue.
Due to the unemployment situation in Ghana at the moment, most university graduates are wondering what to do next in order to enter into the industry? What should they do?
After gaining a degree, one is qualified at entry level into various organizations. However it is necessary that graduates with interest in the oil and Gas industry gain additional post graduate education/skill where necessary to specialize or streamline themselves in a particular field in the industry. These additional skill sets include among a host of others in administrative courses, ACCA courses, Environment, Health and safety programmes, paralegal training,etc. An alternative choice however is to pursue a full post graduate degree in Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum Geosciences, Petroleum law, etc
In a nutshell due to the high level of competition for employment in Ghana today, a candidate for employment in the Oil and Gas industry who possess additional or specialized skill sets in any of the various aspects of the industry will have a competitive edge over his/her peers.
I am already an employee in a field that I think is unrelated to the oil and Gas industry. How do I switch to the oil sector with minimum retraining?
While some of the skills and technical know how in the oil and gas industry are acquired in school by professions such as engineering ,on the job training are mostly emphasized by most oil producing companies. This makes it possible for most skill sets to be transferable into the oil and gas industry. The reality how ever is that, an individual who desires to transfer from an unrelated profession to the oil and gas industry would require an understanding of the knowledge and skills required in the specific area of his choice. Such a person would be required to start at a relatively lower grade in order to grasp the concepts as he advances. His competitive advantage though would be his/her experience in the field. Although unrelated, most professional disciplines have transferable skills across industries fundamental modes of operating such contracts and procurement.
Is it at all possible for an individual in the technical sector such as an NVTI certificate holder to gain entry into the oil and gas industry as an employee. If yes how?
One of the most common factors to consider when considering employment in the oil and gas industry is the level of safety and precautionary standards that are required to be maintained due the delicate nature of the products. In this regard, most technical employee base in this industry require accredited certification in order to gain entry in any of the technical sector, be it at a high level or low.
This is one major deciding factor for an employer when recruiting a skilled technician to work on the oil fields or rigs. Thus an oil and gas biased certification or training or experience would be an added advantage.
Kwaku Boakye-Dankwa is a pseudonym for this oil and gas writer who works in one of the oil&gas companies in Ghana.