Geoscience and Petroleum Careers
Grade Level: 7-12
Source: SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development). Adapted with permission.
What adventures await you as a student of the Earth sciences? How about a career as a scientist or engineer working for the world’s largest oilfield services company? Schlumberger employees invent, design, engineer, and apply technologies to help customers find and produce oil and gas more efficiently and safely — often in remote and challenging locations.
For example, geoscientists and other petrotechnical experts such as reservoir engineers use their expertise to increase recoverable oil reserves and optimize production. With their knowledge of Earth sciences and physics, mathematics, and chemistry, they evaluate the likelihood and potential of hydrocarbon deposits all over the world.
In this activity, you will think about how various real-world careers relate to your personal interests and what you are learning about the Earth’s systems — the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
- Computer with Internet access
- Word-processing computer and/or pen and lined paper
- You will be composing a “Geoscience Career Interest Profile” statement for yourself. For the first part, write a paragraph of up to 200 words about what you might want from a geoscience career. You might start by writing out your answers to questions such as:
- Are you interested in timely topics facing the scientific community, such as getting the most from our energy resources and keeping environmental impacts to a minimum?
- What kinds of work to you enjoy? Do you like solving problems, communicating ideas and information, collaborating with others, or leading projects?
- Are you best suited to working indoors, as in an office or a laboratory? Or do you like working outdoors?
- Would you enjoy a job that involves traveling across the country or around the world? Or would you prefer living and working in one place?
- Do you envision yourself going on to college and earning a bachelor’s or an advanced degree? Maybe a master’s or a Ph.D.?
On the Internet, go to Schlumberger’s Geoscience and Petrotechnical careers page (https://careers.slb.com/recentgraduates/geoscience.aspx). Read the brief overviews of the five major career categories described:
- Reservoir Engineer
- Software Engineer
For the second part of your “Geoscience Career Interest Profile” statement, write up to 200 words matching your interests to a career. Based on the information available, which of these five careers would be the best fit for you, and why?
Discuss your statement with your classmates: What career did you choose? What careers did others choose? How have you matched your interests and strengths with various career descriptions? How might you approach the opportunities and challenges that these careers offer?
SEED is a volunteer-based, nonprofit education program that empowers Schlumberger employee volunteers and educators to share their passion for learning and science with students. SEED’s Online Science Center (https://www.planetseed.com) provides educational resources and opportunities to learners and educators in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Also, see the SEED Earth Science Week Online Toolkit (http://www.earthsciweek.org/seed/). The site, a partnership of SEED and Earth Science Week, features more than 70 free lessons, posters, fact sheets and other materials in both Spanish and English.