The Hydrogen Economy and Employment in the Energy Sector

Posted by Robert Gray Atkins on Mar 12, 2021 4:11:23 PM

A coalition of major oil & gas, power, automotive, fuel cell, and hydrogen companies recently released a “Road Map to a U.S. Hydrogen Economy” that predicts hydrogen from low-carbon sources could provide approximately 14% of the country’s energy needs by 2050. The key phrase here? “Low-carbon.” Currently, 95% of the hydrogen we use is developed using fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. However, hydrogen itself, when used in a fuel cell, for example, emits exactly zero CO2. Hence the global race to create a carbon neutral Hydrogen Economy.

At present, the process of creating green hydrogen through renewable energy sources and electrolysis is both too expensive and technologically limited to achieve in a scalable way. But energy companies and fuel cell manufacturers are striving to improve that process and simultaneously create the infrastructure that will be necessary to store, transport, and deliver hydrogen to customers. Higher education institutions are also actively involved in research and development of new technologies and applications to advance the hydrogen economy.

Current jobs related to the hydrogen economy generally require advanced education and expertise in fields such as chemistry and engineering. Supply chain and logistics experts are involved as well. Gray’s data show that job postings related to chemistry, engineering, and supply chain and logistics are consistently high, looking at the year-over-year comparison, with a considerable increase to 68,000 in October.

Job Postings related to Engineering and Supply Chain by Month

Topics: Current Data, Employment Trends, Labor Market Data, Economy, Hydrogen

Associate Degrees Are in Demand

Posted by Robert Gray Atkins on Mar 4, 2021 3:03:57 PM

Associate Degrees Are in Higher Demand, as Employer Awareness of Degree Inflation Increases.

As the student loan debt issue grows, more attention is being paid to degree inflation in the job market. Pragmatically, as unemployment rises, employers need to screen out thousands of applicants. Degree-level is an easy screen, so it is widely used. A January 2021 article from the BBC states that many students who have gone back to school or are in school now “could graduate into a different recruitment environment because, while degree inflation is a problem decades in the making, the pandemic may have opened the door to big changes.”  A widely-published 2017 study by the Harvard Business School found that “employers were increasingly inflating the educational requirements for jobs usually held by high school grads. We also found that automated hiring tools excluded applicants with relevant experience simply because they lacked a college degree. In many cases, qualified candidates never even got the chance to apply for a position.” 

Topics: Current Data, Employment Trends, Labor Market Data, Community Colleges, Associates Degree