Want a job in the oil industry? Get into data science or alternative energy

1 week ago by James Mattone in Facts, Trends

According to job listings data, the number of openings for positions that have to do with data, machine learning, and analytics at BP ($NYSE:BP), Chevron ($NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil ($NYSE:XOM), Royal Dutch Shell ($ON:RDSA), and Total ($NYSE:TOT) is up over the past six months.

On March 10, out of 2,081 job postings, there was one data and machine learning job for every 43.3 listings. That is a substantial increase over the ratio for such jobs on August 1, where there were 2,087 job postings and one data and machine learning position for every 50.9 listings.

This is an indication that big oil is continuing to fuel up on resources looking at data trends, which has gained substantial ground over the next decade thanks to advancements in data acquisition and tracking.

Broken down by company, Royal Dutch Shell had the most growth in such positions from November to March.

Shell had six open positions with "data," "analytics," or "machine learning" in the title on November 1. By March 9, it had 19 positions, more than triple of what it was seven months ago.

Data from Shell and Total shows an investment into alternative energy

Not only are oil companies getting into data science, they are also investing into renewable energy. For Shell and Total specifically, the number of alternative energy jobs has increased by 81.82% and 42.11% respectively.

In order to make these insights, we aggregated the number of positions with one or more words from the following word bank: alternative energy, alternate energy, renewable, wind, solar, photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal, fuel cell, hydro, nuclear, and biofuel. That, for the most part, covers an extensive range of keywords a company would use to alert potential alternative energy job seekers that a particular opening is in his or her wheelhouse.

Because data is taken and indexed in different ways, we only derived insights for these two companies. BP, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil are also invested into alternative energy, and, like their competitors, are looking to the future of where they can continue their success not as an "oil company," but as an "energy company.

These insights come while CERAweek is taking place in Houston, Texas. Hosted by IHS Markit ($NASDAQ:INFO), this conference is where the top energy executives convene to make connections and talk about the future of energy. You could pay $8,500 to get a ticket to this conference and hear U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speak, or you can look at alternate data taken from the big five oil company's job openings.

(Of course, we're being sarcastic about that, but we're serious about what alternate data is telling us.)

James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, and he has an interest in video games, music, and tech news. You can find him on Twitter @TheJamesMattone.

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