>> The oil industry has suffered through two years of falling prices and nearly half a million layoffs worldwide. Even with energy prices beginning to tick back up, career energy sector professionals, meaning engineers with advanced degrees and narrow specializations, are now wondering if there's any future in an industry that's focused on efficiency.
Reuters energy correspondent, Ernie Scheyder.>> With technological advancements, you need fewer people to do the same amount of work. A lot of these workers have been in the industry for 10, 20, 30 years, so their salaries are disproportionately high compared to somebody just coming out of college who is also more well versed in the newer technologies.
These middle aged white collar oil field workers have a hard time proving, as a whole, that they're worth as much as they were years ago.>> Many energy industry workers stung by lay offs are moving on. According to a University of Houston global survey, a quarter of laid off workers already switch industries, and another 55% are considering it.
But for many of them, switching industries is a challenge as well.>> It's a realization that many of them are coming to now, that even though they probably won't last in the oil industry, they can't transfer their skills to another place. That's a huge disconnect, and there's really no short answer for that.
>> But at the other end of the energy sector, where drill meets bed rock, the job picture is reversed. If oil has another big surgeon prices, companies will find themselves short of workers, should they try to ramp up production. All ready in Western Canada, companies resuming production of crude oil are struggling the higher read cruise following job and pay cuts.