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What should I focus on in high school if I want to be a petroleum engineer?

What should I focus on in high school if I want to be a petroleum engineer?

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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Cassandra,
I'm in Albany; not too far from Pittsfield! Hope you're doing well. I would suggest you focus on advance levels of math and science in high school. Ideally, to prepare for college, admissions will typically want to see calculus level math, chemistry and physics. If you have the availability to take college level classes, say at Berkshire Community College, that will also show your commitment to higher level coursework and you can knock out some general education classes at the same time. Just try to align college courses with your future engineering course load so you're not wasting time/money.
I hope this helps!
Jessica
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Cassandra
Thank you comment icon Thank you Jessica.I really appreciate your help. Cassandra
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Calvin’s Answer

Hello Cassandra,

As Jessica mentioned, Mathematics and Science are incredibly important for pursuing any engineering degree. Enrolling in advanced classes and college courses related to these subjects will greatly benefit you.

Wishing you the best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Cassandra
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Adrian’s Answer

Hello Cassandra,

Studying Chemical Engineering has shown me that focusing on Sciences and Mathematics can be an excellent foundation for pursuing a career as a Petroleum Engineer. It's essential to choose subjects that genuinely interest you, as this will make learning more enjoyable and increase your chances of success.

Always listen to your heart when selecting the subjects you love, as this will guide you towards a fulfilling career in the future.

In addition to your academic studies, it's important to engage in other activities like music, sports, or volunteering. These pursuits demonstrate that you are a well-rounded individual who can contribute positively to campus life and society. Developing these skills now will also prove valuable when searching for jobs in the future.

Wishing you the best of luck on your journey!
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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Cassandra,
I remember being a little frustrated in high school (1990s) because I wanted to learn more than was available for me to take in high school classes or alternate channels. As the other responders wrote, it is very important to focus on doing well in Math and sciences during high school to set up a solid foundation for college classes. One thing that I look back on in my career (mechanical engineer, fixed nuclear submarines, and now advise oil and gas operations) is that all the time I spent in high school, college, and in my early career in the weeds of math basics, science basics, and in college heavy engineering analysis really set me up to succeed. So even though it might seem that current math classes are not directly relevant to petroleum engineering work, it is actually the practice of solving problems in a structured and logical way that helps build your problem-solving competencies. Thus, later on in your career you can lean back on this skill set to apply to a completely different and unique problem. So don't underestimate the importance of repetitive practice of the fundamentals. This is the core to becoming a strong petroleum engineer in the future.
Two additional notes: One, look to see if your school offers Science Olympiad opportunities as this will also help build problem solving skills. Two, there is a large need for the next generation of petroleum engineers, so if this continues to be a passion of yours, know that there will be a need for these skills in the workplace.
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Brittnee’s Answer

Advanced math and science courses help significantly when you get to college. Leadership and volunteer are important traits when it comes to looking for future job opportunities.
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