It is tough to describe a “typical” career path for an EBF student because the opportunities are so broad. Our graduates work at oil and gas companies; electric utilities; energy technology companies; investment banks and insurance companies; state and federal government agencies; and more. Below are some examples of types of career paths, from recent years:
- Commodities trading
- Project development and finance (planning and raising money for large energy projects, whether those are oil/gas, renewables or infrastructure)
- Gas and electricity scheduling (operating energy infrastructures)
- Energy marketing (risk management and procurement of electricity and fuels)
- Energy analysts at diversified companies in banking, finance and insurance
- Energy economists at state and federal agencies
- Commercial risk analysts
- Energy efficiency project analysts
- Many larger energy companies also offer rotational programs for which EBF students have been competitive
Whether you want to work on Wall Street, for an oil and gas company, or in renewables or electricity power, EBF can be a great way to set up an energy-related career. There are some limits, though. EBF students generally can’t get engineering jobs (unless you double-major in an engineering field); aren’t that competitive for positions in accounting; and don’t often go into fields other than energy, the environment and natural resources.
Unlike some other energy-related majors, employment opportunities for EBF students have not been affected by the recent downturn in oil prices. There are fewer oil-company jobs out there when oil prices are low, but right now there are many, many jobs in electric power, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Students who are highly successful academically and who make themselves known to their professors (showing up in class, asking questions and so forth) have generally not had any problems finding jobs.
It is very common for EBF students to take internships during the summer of their sophomore or junior year (or even both). Many of the same companies who hire EBF students for full time employment will also take on summer interns. Go to the career fairs in the fall, and be on the lookout for announcements about companies visiting the department. The department has strong ties with many energy-related companies that visit us each year to interview and recruit interns and full-time employees.