Talented Stem students don’t want to work for Big Oil any more. Climate qualms haven’t historically been an obstacle, at least in the US: as opportunities boomed with fracking, so did enrollment in petroleum engineering degrees, the WSJ reports. But something changed around the middle of the second decade of the century. Between 2016 and 2021, as the price of Brent crude nearly doubled and starting salaries and benefits rose with it, the number of petroleum engineering graduates more than halved. Universities in Texas, Louisiana and Colorado that used to supply the sector can’t meet employer demand, and even now it’s not just because of students’ consciences. They’re as worried about job security as they are about the planet. “People are concerned they won’t have a job in 10 to 20 years,” one 21 year-old who is studying petroleum engineering at the Colorado School of Mines told the Journal. European universities aren’t sending as many engineers to oil firms in Africa and Asia as they used to, either. BP is throwing money at the problem, doubling the size of its apprenticeship scheme and putting $4 million behind a new US fellowship programme to give students a taste of the industry. But change is in the wind.