Crude Education

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A new generation is getting interested in the oil business.

Undergraduate enrollment in petroleum engineering is up 46 percent nationwide since 2002.

With the old generation retiring and new interest in drilling, jobs for petroleum engineers are plentiful and the pay is good, starting at 50-thousand dollars.

The head of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
at the University of Wyoming says companies are "crying out for people." He says all the companies he's talked to tell him they can't get enough petroleum engineering staff for their projects.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers says there are more than 23-hundred undergraduates majoring in petroleum engineering this year. That's the highest figure since 1987, but still well below the 1983 peak of eleven-thousand.