How the Oil Boom Labor Market Has Changed Colleges In the Oil Patch - 26,000 New Oil Wells by 2037
Gas, Oil and Education
North Dakota needs 100s of additional workers for the Oil & Natural Gas Industry in an Oil Boom set to last to mid-century. Colleges and Universities are ready to serve this workers with much needed short-term training at the cost of the employer and under various grant funding.
The locations of colleges and universities in North Dakota roughly follow a grid of lines along Highway 2, I-94, and I-29/Highway 81. This grid, especially in the western half of the state, encompasses the Williston Basin and Bakken oil fields (see map below). The colleges and universities along this grid have begun to develop short-term classes for training and certifications that oil field workers need.
Since 2009 and an oil boom that has increased jobs and strengthened the economy of Northwestern North Dakota, the state's colleges and universities have examined their course and degree offerings with an eye toward matching them more closely to the needs of the Oil & Natural Gas Industry.
Klipplinger Calls North Dakota an Economic Powerhouse
- North Dakota's Oilpatch Boom
- Oilfield Workers Registry - Oil and Gas Company Directory - Oil and Gas Jobs
Oilfield Workers Registry - International directory of companies and associations operating in the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas directory. Oil and gas jobs available now. Free resume postings and job search for oil
Grid of Jobs and Training
North Dakota Oil!
Wider Range of Jobs Than Expected
The Oil Patch needs the usual people for operating drilling rigs, pumpjacks, and other machines and rigs; but requires many more types of jobs than many expected.
Other High Demand Jobs include those of airgun operators, seismic drillers and helpers, surveyors, managers, engineers, welders, medics, chemists, biologists, environmentalists, technologists, cooks, computer programmers, and dozens more. Employers have begun sending workers to local colleges and universities for short-term certifications in safety, CDL licensing and many more skills.
Locations Of Increasing Oil and Gas Jobs
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- Top 20 Jobs in North Dakota - Oil Boom 2010 - 2050
The Bakken Oil Field has taken over the state with vacant jobs waiting to be filled.
Williston State College: An Example for Change
Williston State College became the first venue in North Dakota to offer GED (high school diploma equivalency) testing online on March 6, 2012. This happened in the school's Adult Learning Center where GED classes are taught in order to help community residents complete high school and enter the local high demand job market. This is the Oil Boom.
Hundreds of oil workers that are nontraditional students arrive at Williston State College on a daily basis in order to learn the materials in safety courses and study related materials for their jobs in the Oil Boom. Adding additional services and more classes that will help this pool of workers will keep the doors to Williston open, so the leadership of the school decided for an ongoing program of improvements to serve this population. The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coming to and end bring yet more nontraditional students to Williston and other colleges in the form of US Veterans. Both 2- and 4-year degrees will be in high demand.
Jobs Increased 50,000% from 2010 to 2012
Williston plans to quickly add a four-year business degree to equip workers to become managers in Oil & Natural Gas. Students will come from Northwest North Dakota and Northeast Montana. Already, Williston offers dozens of oil field related classes in safety, first aid, office management, CDL, computer training, and other useful courses for certification in the short-term.
The National Center for Education Statistics tells us that 38% of college-enrolled persons are over the age of 25. Thus, academic cohorts are aging on average right along with the nation's aging population. Under the Obama Administration, individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance payments are permitted to use their time on Unemployment to attend college. Many downsized and laid off workers, as well as displaced homemakers, are going to college in their late 30s to 50s, because of this benefit. The percentage of students in 2- or 4-year colleges in 2019 that are per 25 years of age is estimated to reach 61% of total enrolled students. The usual 18- to 22-year-old will be in the minority.
References and Information
- Education.org - Directory of Campus Schools & Degrees and Online Schools & Degrees
- WSC-Safety and Other Training through TrainND
Williston State -- Dozens of classes for the Oil Field are offered.
- Old School: College's Most Important Trend is the Rise of the Adult Student - Frederick Hess - Busin
America needs to get better at teaching old(er) dogs new tricks.
Schools Planning the Additional Changes first
Changes at Other Schools
Chancellor Bill Goetz of the North Dakota University System called a meeting of College and University Presidents from Bismarck State College, Dickinson State University, Minot State University, and Williston State College to delineate a clear picture of the changes that need to be made in schools in and near the Oil Patch.
Employers are picking up the cost of a lot of the TrainND certifications and short-term classes at Williston State College and others like it. Some are also furnishing meals and other perk while in the oil field. The long hours result in even high er pay.
It takes the right training to improve, grow, and succeed. - We expand opportunities for businesses in North Dakota by training your employees to achieve more. Whether you’re training IT professionals, managers, wel...
Colleges and Universities in North Dakota
Nearest the Williston - Minot - New Town Oil Field
- *Dickinson State University- Dickinson, North Dakota
- Fort Berthold Community College - New Town, North Dakota. The MHA combined Native American Nation own much of the oil-containing land in the Bakken deposit. Offers courses and certifications in Welding and Environmental Science appropriate to the oil field.
- *Minot State University - Minot, North Dakota
- -- Minot State University - Bottineau, North Dakota
- *Williston State College - Williston, North Dakota
Nearest the Bismarck Metro Area and Jamestown
- *Bismarck State College - Bismarck, North Dakota
- Jamestown College - Jamestown
- United Tribes Technical College - Bismarck ND. Another Native American Nation.
- University of Mary - Bismarck
Nearest the Fargo-Grand Forks Area
- Mayville State University - Mayville
- North Dakota State University - Main Campus - Fargo ND
- University of North Dakota - Grand Forks
- Valley City State University - Valley City
Other North Dakota Colleges
- Cankdeska Cikana Community College - Fort Totten
- Lake Region State College - Devils Lake
- North Dakota State College of Science - Wahpeton
- Sitting Bull College - Fort Yates
- Trinity Bible College - Ellendale
- Turtle Mountain Community College - Belcourt
*Involved in instituting and implementing changes necessary to accommodate workers in the Oil Patch.