Back in 1999, when both oil and natural gas prices were collapsed, a hardy 30 students were enrolled in Penn State University's petroleum and natural gas engineering program. Now, the number is 500.
Today's high oil prices and the shale gas boom have led students to flock to petroleum engineering programs. Graduates from those programs are in high demand and can command high initial salaries. Yet, the Philadelphia Inquirer surprisingly reports that there are just 17 universities offering majors in petroleum engineering, and Penn State University is among that small group.