OK Boomer: Gen Z Turns Their Back on Mining / Oil Careers

Jamie Wilkie

Careers under consideration for ages 15 to 30
Share of respondents that would consider a position in:

Courtesy of McKinzie & Company

Young people looking for their first “real job” are turning their noses up to the critical mining and oil and gas sectors, according to a recent report from McKinsey.

Background: Two thirds of 15- to 30-year-old survey respondents said they definitely would not or probably would not consider a career in mining or oil and gas. The “youths” are turning toward sectors like high tech, arts & culture, healthcare, and financial services.

Proving this out, there has been a significant drop in mining engineering graduation rates in both the US and Australia – a trend that holds true for oil and gas, as well.

It’s about more than free lattes

McKinsey found the causes for this trend included ESG/diversity shortcomings, Gen Z’s expectation of purpose in employment, a disconnection in what workers need from a job, and increasing competition for digital and technical talent.

Zoom out: The trend need not be permanent: careers often take twists and turns (“meme-wrangler / newsletter writer” probably wouldn’t have been top choice for any of our writers at 15), but the first step is acceptance.

The energy, mining, and energy transition sectors all needyoung talent to deliver on the future we all want.

Additional reading: The article has some great suggestions to fix these issues.