22 Tips to Become Petroleum Economists

Petroleum Economists: An economist can work at the individual and business levels or even with large-scale governments and economies.

They study, research, predict, and evaluate business and revenue trends in every industry out there today.

They are smart individuals with a natural ability to problem solve and pinpoint meaningful details.

They’re great with puzzles and quandaries and love finding patterns and trends.

this sounds like you, being an economist could be the career you’re looking for.

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Petroleum Economists

1. Take math, statistics, and economics classes in high school.

To make college that much easier, start setting yourself up for success now.

Take introductory courses in high school that’ll give you a grip on what you’ll be immersing yourself into in college.

Get familiar with the topics at hand, stay up-to-date on current political and economic events, and start making it plan A for your future.

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2. Get your bachelor’s degree.

It’s a good idea to major in economics, business management, or a math-related field, like statistics.

Dive right into classes like microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and economic thought and theory.

You’ll also need classes in marketing, finance, and accounting.

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3. Don’t forget classes in politics and industry, too.

These sectors are closely linked with local and global economies.

And can help specialize your knowledge and land you jobs in the future.

4. Consider getting a master’s degree.

Most successful economists have education beyond that of a bachelor’s.

The job outlook is better the more education you have, too.

Though it is possible to get a job in a related field with just an undergraduate degree.

Consider getting your master’s to up your career potential.

  • If you do stop at the bachelor level, you may find work as a research assistant, financial analyst, market research analyst, or similar other positions in business, finance, and consulting.
  • Many choose to get a part-time job in a related field to get work experience and then pursue higher education simultaneously to climb the career ladder as efficiently as possible.

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Petroleum Economists

5. Get an internship.

Master’s (and PhD) candidates often get internships during their time at college.

Working with a professor or private company assisting with research.

This looks great on a resume and can be your foothold into the academic or professional world of economics.

Scope out your opportunities during your studies to supplement your education.

  • To get a balance of experience prior to your degree, try to do work in the private sector, with the government, and do research. This will give you a taste of the possible routes in front of you and help you make a decision later.

6. Look into getting your PhD.

Again, with more education comes more job opportunities (and higher pay).

If you get your PhD, you could teach or work just about anywhere.

This takes several years, and includes completing detailed research in a specialty field.

It is a research-based degree that focuses on upper level understanding of quantitative analysis.

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7. What can you specialize in?

Industrial organization, game theory, international economics.

Income distribution and econometrics are just a few topics grad students choose to pursue individually.

8. Join a professional organization.

If you have an advanced degree in a particular area.

There is likely a professional organization you can join to meet and network with other fellow economists; two examples are the Association for Social Economics and the National Association for Business Economists. 

This can lead to great connections and job opportunities in the future.

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9. Find a job at a consulting firm or a scientific and technical company.

At the beginning, any job will do.

Most economists don’t start out as full-fledged economists.

It’ll be easier to land a gig as a financial researcher, an accountant, or as an assistant to an economist.

You can then work your way up in the company.

  • If you have the right combination of education and experience.
  • You could also look into working for business, research, or international organizations.

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10. Consider teaching part-time.

Plenty of economists with higher degrees also teach part-time to supplement their income and keep up-to-date on and participate in research.

During the time it takes to work your up the ladder, teaching can be a very convenient gig to keep your passions alive.

  • With a master’s degree you can teach in community colleges and in high schools.
  • It’ll take a PhD to teach at the university level.

Petroleum Economists

11. Work for the government.

Many economists and hopeful economists wind up working for the government.

With the plethora of positions they need filled, this isn’t exactly surprising.

If private sector work doesn’t seem for you, consider this as a valid alternative.

  • Most government positions accept those with only bachelor’s degrees.
  • But more education will ensure you a higher paid, higher-on-the-totem pole position.

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12. Be patient in your climb up the career ladder.

The  Bureau of Labour and Statistics says the job outlook for economists through 2030 is going to be slower than average.

Government or the private sector may be your best chance for employment.

If you have to start out as an accountant or research assistant, consider it paying your dues.

You’ll rise to the top eventually.

  • Consider a job in any related business a step in the right direction.
  • Many companies hire from within and with the right qualifications, you could easily become next in line.
  • In this career, it’s important to roll with the punches to stay on top of your game.

13. Hone your analytical skills.

Economists are constantly collecting and scrutinizing even the tiniest bits of information.

You will be a researcher, an analyst, and a forecaster.

You will look for trends and patterns and essentially be a problem-solver.

It’s easy to see that analytical skills are a must-have even to just do your job at a basic level.

  • If you love puzzles, your analytical skills likely come natural to you.
  • If you rock a good Sudoku game and enjoy websites like Lumosity, keep it up.
  • To be a spark in the economics industry, your mind has to be firing on all pistons.

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Petroleum Economists

14. Stay current.

Economists are constantly looking at past and current trends to predict the future.

They are on the frontier of the political climate and are always a step ahead of the curve.

To make sure you’re on the cusp (and to stay employed).

You’ll need to stay current with political and international events and trends.

  • Make sure to read local, regional, and international news.
  • Familiarize yourself with future projections made by other economic analysts and follow political trends.
  • You should be constantly reading (whether it’s a book or on the Internet) to be able to analyze situations from multiple angles.

15. Work on your social skills, too.

Economists are constantly having to convince others of their findings.

They’re making presentations and giving speeches, forecasting the future, dispelling myths, and finding patterns to help their employer succeed and account for tomorrow.

You need to be able to pinpoint relevant information in addition to relaying it to different types of people.

  • Many economists find themselves in slightly different fields, like writing a column about their knowledge, doing TV specials, or giving seminars. Because of the wide array of options that can spider out from this career, it’s best to as well-balanced as possible.

Petroleum Economists

16. Dive into your critical-thinking abilities.

Every day you’re going to be confronted with complex problems and need to use higher level reasoning and logic.

You’ll need to take the data in front of you and think about it outside of the box.

How it applies to different situations, and what it means for the future.

  • Every detail matters and can change your thinking.
  • You’ll need to be nit-picky and focused to be accurate.
  • It will require diligence and meticulousness not seen in many other careers.
  • It’s hard work, but it can be very rewarding.

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17. Know their Role:

Conduct analysis associated with Project Economic Evaluation, Portfolio Management.

Capital Budget allocation, Monitoring and tracking to provide consultation support in planning processes.

Asset in establishing a centre of expertise in economic and decision analysis and provide commercial insight / risk analysis

Ensure that company standards and processes are reflected in capital projects progression project evaluations and in analysis of the business and competitive environment;

Oversee and ensure effective execution of all critical corporate planning processes including those related to corporate strategy, stage gate valuation and decision quality for opportunities and helping to re-focus the portfolio through defined action plans;

Enable management to make the right choices in a timely manner through high quality economic evaluations, decision analysis, commercial insight, and robust fit-for-purpose uncertainty / risk analysis along with effective challenge guidance and support to the evaluation project team.

Petroleum Economists

18. Know the Strategy Management

Participate in all initiatives and activities related to Strategy Review.

This will include identification and assessment of strategic issues and facilitation of strategic discussions in the company.

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19. Portfolio Management & Risk Management:

Participate in all portfolio management activities in the company and conduct annual review of the company portfolio in order to categorize assets according to their value potential and propose required action for each compounds of the portfolio;

Economic Analysis:
20. Performance Management & Reporting:

Track capital projects performances and participate.

When required, in the definition of corrective action to project off-track and ensure implementation of lesson learned in future projects evaluation.

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Petroleum Economists

21. Know the Systems & Processes:

Review and ensure compliance of all Corporate Planning related processes.

Recommendations / findings developed and proposed corporate planning;
Provide on the job training and assistance and help develop capabilities of planning team to enable them to perform their job effectively.

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22. Meet the Required Qualifications / Experience / Attributes:

Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Engineering, Business Administration, Science or Economics; (Mandatory)
Minimum 15 years’ experience with at least 8 years in related functions to Corporate Planning, commercial or business development departments involving financial analysis, international project evaluation in upstream oil & gas business;
Business Planning & Performance Management
Risk & Portfolio Management
International E&P project experience would be advantageous;
Languages: fluent written and spoken English.

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