" ... some seniors [in petroleum engineering] had job offers rescinded, while underclassmen are struggling to land internships ... Those finding jobs are being offered lower salaries and taking nonengineering positions to get a foot in the door ..." Erin Ailworth, "Who Will Hire a Petroleum Engineer Now?" in The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2015. Here is the article.
Yet another group of the best and brightest are finding out that investing in a career path is a joke. Humans plans, the gods laugh. The class of 2015 in petroleum engineering began matriculating at academic institutions such as the Colorado School of Mines during an energy boom.
Given that the energy industry tends to be cyclical, the industry will bounce back. But those receiving diplomas might not be able to keep their skills current and continue adding to the, until then. Just as in the legal field, those graduating during the downturn could become The Lost Generation. When the market begins recovering, they will be perceived as "left-overs."
On Abovethelaw.com, journalist Elie Mystal chronicled the tragedy of rescinded and deferred offers after the Crash of 2007. Perhaps those whose jobs were entirely snatched back were better off than those whose first official day on the job was pushed into another six months or even a year.
Those left hanging often were left out in the cold, permanently. Months went by and they were not given a start date. That meant they lost time in waking up to the reality that they needed to find work outside practicing law per se but related to law such as document review. Probably the smarter move was to leverage their background to opportunities in corporate compliance, public affairs and lobbying.
The brutal reality is that the knowledge base, practice fundamentals and networks of contacts become out-of-date fast. Time is everything. No one can sit around engaging in any form of magical thinking.