What's Ahead

Continuing Education: The Options Ahead -- Young professionals must manage their own education

Anthony Onukwu, Editor-in-Chief, The Way Ahead

This issue of TWA highlights the need for more efficient, up-to-date, and accountable options for continuing learning in our industry.

The September 2005 issue of the Oil & Gas Finance Journal reported that the top 25 oil companies have shed more than 1 million employees since 1982, and those who managed to hang on are now rapidly approaching retirement age. After years of the gradual reduction of jobs, the industry may not have the manpower or the brainpower to keep up with the world’s growing demand for oil and gas.

There is a pressure to get entry-level and mid-career professionals up to speed with those experienced professionals who are about to leave the industry in the coming years.  The innovation pace in the industry and the need to address workforce challenges are the main reasons why continuing education for oil and gas professionals is so important. However, the “big question” is what programs work, which do not, and which ones are most valued and useful in our industry.

It is important to emphasize that continuing education is not just attending a program at a university or taking a training course. SPE is a great resource for continuing education. One exceptional continuing education method that is getting results is the eMentoring program. To keep up with the phenomenal growth of the industry, each young professional  has a personal responsibility to keep his or her knowledge and skills up to date and be responsible for directing a lifelong learning path. So, we must manage our education; we must find out what adds value to our professional development and growth.  The next question will be, “How do we go about this?”

Don’t worry! As always, TWA is asking this important question on your behalf! We have a fantastic lineup of articles. Our authors—a diverse list of inspiring personalities from the industry—have been generous in sharing their views. I am sure you will enjoy reading their insights into the importance of continuing education in our industry; an entire issue dedicated at deconstructing the dilemma of continuing education and the options ahead. Please hurry and digest!

I will finish with this saying: “Your schooling may be over, but remember that your education still continues.”