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Is working in oil and gas industry an attractive option for school-leavers? Give your reasons.

2. Why have you entered anoil industry-related university department?

The expert professionals have been pointing out that in Western countries, first of all in the US and UK, the prestige accorded to oil and gas industry as a field of employment has considerably shrunk over the last decade. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, it concerns a vivid development of other industries offering competitive salaries and career growth opportunities, such as telecommunications and high-tech, finance, marketing and PR.

Whereas in the 1970s the brightest graduates were looking for employment at oil companies in the hope of big salaries, prestigious jobs and quick promotions, now they choose other niches, for the same reasons. The other most important reason has been the perceptions of oil and gas industry as a "non-ecological," and often "unethical," field of employment. There is no denying that the image of oil industry has been soiled by continuous conflicts with ecologists, and ecology is something people pay much attention to in the civilized world today. Corruption scandals, with even the biggest oil companies sometimes involved, add fuel to the fire as well. As a result, in the West there are much fewer students and graduates now opting for jobs in oil and gas companies.

But does this problem exist in Russia? In search of an answer we looked into the statistics compiled by ANCOR, as well as our observations concerning Russian job seekers in and outside Moscow. It turned out that in Moscow and St. Petersburg this tendency does exist - because "non-oil" industries in these cities are well developed, the oil and gas indeed has to compete for the best and the brightest with other industries, first of all finance, as well as "heavy" industries - metallurgy and the power industry. Many job seekers getting a job offer from an oil or services company do not jump at it but take their time looking for something better - and often they find this something. The biggest amount of job offer rejections relates to the service sector companies, where salaries are a bit lower and the work is more troublesome. So, in Moscow and St. Petersburg the job recruitment for oil and gas industry is becoming ever more difficult.

Increasingly fewer Moscow and St. Petersburg residents are enrolling at oil industry-related university departments, while the lawyers and finance and logistics professionals prefer working in industries other than oil and gas.

In other cities the situation is quite different. Because in many regions, especially in the Trans-Ural area, as well as in Tatarstan, Bashkiria, and in the south of Russia, oil and gas industry has been traditionally strong, while such sectors as services or finance have been, to say the least, underdeveloped, oil industry is viewed as the most prestigious, and often the only worthwhile employment opportunity. Besides competitive salaries, employment at an oil and gas company is often the only chance a resident of the city of Ishimbay (Bashkortostan) or Okha (Sakhalin) may have for "rising above the crowd" and relocating to Moscow or St.Petersburg - a traditional beacon for provincial job seekers.

So, our clients - oil and services companies - have become more inclined to fish among the provincial job seekers even when recruiting for their head offices in Moscow: for the applicants from the regions, oil industry remains a prestigious field of employment.

By Konstantin Borisov

Ex.2 Match the Russian and English equivalents:

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