The MBA For Oil and Gas Professionals

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Over the last 3 years, the price of oil has been rather slippery. At a high of $125 as recently as 2012, oil prices fell to just $30 by the beginning of 2016. They hover at around $40 currently, but the drop has been enough to send more than OPEC into panic mode. Oil and gas professionals, many of whom saw resurgent careers and rising demand for skills even through the global financial crisis, are today facing an uncertain future. This is exacerbated by the fact that even oil majors have chosen to simply shut down some units.

Oil and gas professionals have a particular industrial specialization that necessitates in-depth knowledge of the sector’s fundamental operations. Thus, an MBA does not always seen as the first choice by such individuals, but recent trends with the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed the business into collapse, with oil falling into negative territory, which is unheard of.

Most professionals are looking for jobs in the green economy, as climate change has become one of the most pressing issues. This is when having an MBA in Oil & Gas comes in handy. The MBA in Oil and Gas program is designed to give students the skills they need to help these firms achieve their objectives. Furthermore, it enables you to develop long-term company models and is an option  that presents an opportunity to grow, gain new skills and make the most of this slump for the industry.

Why should an oil and gas professional consider an MBA at all?

Most oil and gas professionals aren’t simply functional engineers as one may find in several other industries. They have a specific industry focus as well, and this makes them deeper experts. Oil and gas professionals take definite pride in what they accomplish, whether it is process control, owning and implementing an engineering package, implementing sustainability processes, or ensuring quality. For this reason, the MBA for oil and gas professionals is not an automatic choice, or even a ‘must have’, as it may be in many other industries. Yet, oil and gas professionals who go for an MBA have much to gain, both in terms of skill acquisition and in terms of building a better career.

To begin with, the MBA can help oil and gas professionals gain deeper skills in operations management, process control and quality assessment, and emerging areas in the domain. Even if the professional chooses to continue in the industry, he/she will be more aware of the connections between operations and supply chains and other business functions. An MBA can be a door opener for more supervisory and strategic roles as well, allowing the professional to retain his/her technical edge while also contributing on a larger plank.

Post-MBA options for the energy professional

Not all oil and gas professionals, though, would like to continue in the industry post-MBA too. For them, there are again plenty of options that open up. Whether it is supply chain or production roles in manufacturing, e-commerce, or shipping, or consulting roles with MBB firms or operations consulting firms, there is literally a plethora of opportunities out there.

Add to this the fact that most consulting employers consider oil and gas professionals to be very valuable owing to their exposure to scale, process management, and quality, and you have a situation where post-MBA you could have your cake and eat it too.

Top MBA Options for the Oil and Gas Professional

While the M7 are of course outstanding across functions, the following MBA programs (organized by geography) are much in demand by oil and gas professionals. Not all of these programs are strong operations programs; some are strong in consulting instead. The MBA for oil and gas professionals is therefore a wide term and covers many programs. This is not an exhaustive list but a representative one.

USA: Ross, Kellogg, Rice (Jones), Texas (McCombs), Georgia Tech (Scheller), ASU (Carey), MSU (Broad), CMU (Tepper), Purdue (Krannert), Indiana (Kelley)

Canada: Queen’s, Rotman, Ivey, Sauder


Asia: ISB, NUS, Nanyang, HKUST

Apart from these, many other MBA programs may appeal to energy/oil and gas professionals as well, as those programs may offer specializations in topics such as Energy Finance, or Project Management.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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