The labor force of the future in the energy industry – oil and gas in particular – is often a centerpiece of various alarms that currently dominate discussion about the energy landscape in the context of “energy transitions”.  There is growing concern that public attitudes toward oil and gas are deteriorating, especially amongst Millennials, and this is contributing to a workforce shortage that will compromise the long run viability of the industry.  This discourse often cites an apparent philosophical preference for alternative or renewable energies and technologies, and argues that Millennials do not want to enter the oil and gas industries because (i) they are concerned about how long the industry will be around and (ii) they desire to work in innovative “green” energy industries.

This entire narrative is missing a vital point. Millennials are much more technologically savvy than previous generations, and Centennials (those born after the mid-1990s) are even more so.  These generations did not watch the “internet revolution” and “digitalization of things”, effectively adapting to what technology wrought; they were part of it.  Younger generations have been immersed in technology their entire lives, playing on iPads, using laptop computers and smartphones, and having fingertip access to information streams in ways that previous generations did not.  Their depth of interconnectedness with technology has created a very different platform for thinking about the world.  A 2015 piece in the Huffington Post put it well, arguing that younger generations are applying technology to improve productivity and efficiency in ways that “herald an unprecedented chapter in the history of civilization.”
If there is doubt in any of this, think about it anecdotally. When I was a child, my parents punished me by grounding me, which meant not going to the park to play with my friends, effectively being banished to my house while doing various chores.  It sucked, and it was effective!  Today, we punish our kids by grounding them from their electronics.  This can invoke such a response that it is often an effective moderator of behavior
Their depth of interconnectedness with technology has created a very different platform for thinking about the world. 
Millennials, Oil And Gas And The "Energy Transition"
Article By Kenneth B Medlock III,
Baker Istitute Contributor. Forbes | Nov. 5th
Why?  Because taking away the iPad, smartphone or Nintendo Switch effectively disconnects them from their world.  Interesting, isn’t it?

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