Now Available in the Oil Patch: Wind and Solar College Degrees

Demand for renewable energy sector jobs is swaying universities to provide new degrees, The Wall Street Journal reports. Subscription required.

Jazirae Duncan always wanted to go to Texas Tech University and major in something related to science and technology.

Texas Tech student Jazirae Duncan at the school’s wind tunnel. She plans to graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in wind power. /PHOTO- DYLAN COLE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

But when she graduates this month, it won’t be with a degree in petroleum engineering or any of the majors traditionally offered by this springboard school to the energy industry—it will be with a bachelor’s in wind power.

“It’s going to be the future,” said Ms. Duncan, 21 years old. “Companies are really starting to promote renewables.”

Across the U.S., universities that have long offered degrees related to the fossil-fuels industry are starting to offer degrees and concentrations in wind and solar technologies. Companies such as Tesla Inc. TSLA 0.41% are seeking recruits with specialized skills in renewable energy, even as some oil-and-natural-gas companies pull back on hiring graduates in fields such as geology as they automate more tasks.

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