Petroleum EngineeringPetroleum Engineering
Not quite what Jed Clampett or J.R. Ewing did to make their millions, but if you major in Petroleum Engineering you might get to know some oil barons. Petroleum engineers are, after all, responsible for helping to find and drill new oil reserves so that we can continue driving our cars and heating our homes. Petroleum engineers are the scientists behind the oil industry. They’re the ones who help determine where those big oil rigs should go, and where we should and should not drill for more of that black gold, Texas tea. Using some of the most sophisticated technology and complicated math, petroleum engineers also learn how to determine the cost efficiency of any drilling project. Though increasing pollution and global warming has worried lawmakers and environmentalists looking for cleaner sources of energy, the oil industry isn’t going away anytime soon. Jobs will be awaiting Petroleum Engineering graduates for the foreseeable future.
Short of beginning your own drilling company, a strong background in mathematics is great preparation for any career in engineering. The higher-level math you can take the better, particularly calculus and beyond. You’ll be happy you took those AP level physics and chemistry courses, perhaps two of high school’s most difficult classes, when you really start digging into the major curriculum.