Energy Jobs of the Future
Exploring careers in a changing sector

Canada West Foundation Virtual Event
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

View the Recordings

Panel 1 – Future Forward: Employer needs in a changing world

Panel 2 – Backstage Pass: Everyday life on the job

Panel 3 – Second Look: Educating the workforce of tomorrow

Key Takeaways

Our panelists, who represented employers, employees and educators, shared their views on both the static and evolving needs of the sector. Below are points that resonated with us:

Roles will evolve and jobs will be fluid. To stay relevant and able to adapt, employees must be prepared to keep learning. Whether it’s through colleagues, a course or other means – the key to future success on the job will be the ability to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Post-secondary education continues to deliver training and knowledge that satisfy the need for on-the-job hard skills. What employees also require are so-called soft skills, which everyone agreed were just as ‘hard’ to possess. A few cited were curiosity, empathy, teamwork, collaboration, and the ability/willingness to grow continuously.

Market yourself – whether you’re seeking that first job or looking to pivot. Narrow your network to your preferred sector, stay abreast of current trends in the field, and then promote yourself and your ideas whether it’s through video, blog posts, social media or presentations.

There are opportunities to align your values and passion for the environment with jobs in the sector – it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Everyone cited data analysts as a top need. But employers are also looking for people with business acumen, critical thinking skills and a global view. The sector has a place for people with training in all professions and trades because at the end of the day energy impacts us all.

It’s a rapidly changing world of work . . . are you prepared?

For decades, new grads have headed to the oil and gas sector in Western Canada for meaningful, well-paying jobs in a thriving industry. But as demand for cleaner, greener and more efficient energy grows, that career path isn’t quite so obvious anymore. Today, students, young professionals and industry itself are having an “OH S#!T” moment about what’s next. They’re asking questions like:

Can I make money and work in a field that cares for the environment?
Are my skills ready for the new green economy?
Am I heading into an energy job that may disappear in a couple of years?
Is there really a life in – and beyond – oil & gas?

Tectonic shifts

The Canada West Foundation has assembled a cast of energy industry experts ranging from young professionals employed in the sector, large and small employers and education leaders to examine how this generation can prepare to be part of an energy workforce in an environmentally sustainable world.

There are few professions not impacted by seismic shifts rocking the sector. Law, engineering, geoscience, technology, finance, business or the humanities – the move to green and clean is forcing broad sector-wide change. Whether you’re a student looking at career options, a professional wanting to transition your career, or an interested bystander – you’ll find value in this event.

The Program

Employer needs in a changing world

Forward-thinking energy sector employers will share insights on how their organizations are innovating and evolving, and what future employment opportunities young professionals should anticipate.


Nayantara Sudhakar, Canada West Foundation Analyst


Shelagh Ell, Director of People and Culture, ATCO
David Wares, Sales Director for Western Canada, GHGSat
Shanyn Bzowey, Director of Future of Work, Suncor
Jyoti Sidhu, Senior Vice President of Operations, Ballard Power Systems

Everyday life on the job

Young energy professionals pull back the curtain and reveal how their skills are being put to use in the evolving sector, and what other young people need to know about employment in the industry.


Brendan Cooke, Canada West Foundation Analyst


Andy Tertzakian, Data Science Engineer, Teine Energy
Larry D’Silva, Environmental Remediation Advisor, TC Energy
Richard Hares, Principal – Carbon Management, Sproule
Sophie Griffiths, Market Analyst, Canada Energy Regulator
Mackenzi Mitchell, Indigenous Engagement Advisor & Sales Representative, Stream-Flo

Educating the workforce of tomorrow

Education experts offer their take on skillsets and competencies required by employers and the best ways to gear up the young workforce for tomorrow’s opportunities.


Stephany Laverty, Canada West Foundation Analyst


Deanna Burgart, Co-Founder and President, IndigeSTEAM
Sara Hastings Simon, Director, Master’s Program in Sustainable Energy Development, University of Calgary
Ron Thiele, President, Xpan Interactive
Janet Lane, Director, Human Capital Centre, Canada West Foundation

Breakout sessions

Small, interactive breakout sessions give attendees the opportunity to pose questions to recruiters  and other experts from industry. You’ll learn more about the transforming energy sector and discover how this is changing the skills and talent required by these organizations.

Breakout rooms hosted by representatives from: Acceleware, ATCO, Ballard Power Systems, Cenovus, Enhance Energy, EQUS, Exergy, GHGSat, Iron and Earth, ReWatt Power, Suncor and Radicle Balance.