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The Milken Institute ranked San Antonio the Best Performing City of 2011, up from number 14 in 2010. The reasons for this jump are said to be due to the steady influx of new jobs to the area fueled by the Eagle Ford Shale play, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) and the city’s growing healthcare sector.

BRAC is expected to transform Fort Sam Houston into the largest medical training complex in the world and to bring 10,000 families to the city, according to www.ebracebrac.org. BRAC is now the number one economy booster in San Antonio, but that could change once the Eagle Ford shale really starts paying dividends to the city.

According to a UTSA study, the Eagle Ford Shale formation is expected to bring 68,000 jobs to Texas including 4,000 in Bexar County. That estimate is said to be approaching 6,000 by 2020. Eagle Ford is also expected to generate an estimated $21 billion for the Texas economy.

Four large oil and gas industry companies – Halliburton, Schlumberger, Weatherford and Baker Hughes – have already pledged to build corporate campuses on the south side of the city near the intersection of Loop 1604 and I-37 to service the shale formation south of town. These complexes are expected to bring 2,050 plus jobs to the area alone.

A job search done through the site indeed.com revealed that there were approximately 267 oil and gas industry positions available in San Antonio. The jobs are related to a variety of disciplines in the oil and gas industry, but the majority centered around engineering, sales, trucking and a range of industry-specific technical positions.

“Eagle Ford Shale production and pipeline operators continue to have a positive impact on the general economy of San Antonio and South Texas and likely contributed to San Antonio’s Milken Institute ranking,” said Karen Rayzor, director of professional development for the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD). “In addition to the obvious energy companies, industries and services that support these companies and their employees are also expanding.”

One such company, NuStar Energy, is reportedly providing pipeline services for Eagle Ford Shale. NuStar Energy actively recruits and hires students from UTSA for internships and post-graduate full-time employment. Industries that provide support for the employees of the Eagle Ford operation include, but are not limited to, healthcare, retail consumer goods, housing, insurance, banking, investment and entertainment. Every company, whether it is directly involved in the Eagle Ford Shale production, or not, needs employees with solid business backgrounds and education, such as accounting, marketing, public relations, management and finance,” added Rayzor.

Some companies like Schlumberger offer programs for upcoming or recent college graduates in engineering, research, operations, geoscience, petro-technical, commercial and business. Each one of these fields is also subdivided into several disciplines.

The influx of new jobs provides major opportunities for UTSA students worried about the job market after graduation. The CSPD gives some advice on the specific majors that cater to these jobs, and what students can do to help maximize their chances of landing one.

“This is great news for UTSA students looking for careers, internships or part-time employment,” said Rayzor, about students looking to land one of these new jobs. “A quick search of positions posted for business majors (graduate and undergraduate) shows an increase of over 1,000 listings, year-over-year from 2010 to 2011. There were 4,698 postings on RowdyJobs for business students in 2011, compared to 2010, when there were 3,635 postings on RowdyJobs for business students.”

Students can prepare themselves for this job market by taking advantage of the programs, workshops and seminars offered by the CSPD in the College of Business and the University Career Center,” Rayzor continued. She also offered some tips on how to be competitive in the job market:

– Maintain a 3.0 GPA.

– Have your resume reviewed by your career counselor.

– Participate in the Career Action Program (CAP) or attend mock interviews and speed networking functions hosted by the CSPD or the Career Center.

– Intern in your field.

– Expand your horizons through an international experience, such as International Immersions offered by COB.

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