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Old 07-04-2012, 10:43 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,767 times
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Default Are there jobs for recent college grads in North Dakota oil boom towns?

My husband and I are doing research and trying to decide if we should go to North Dakota for job opportunities. We're young with no major responsibilities just looking for a good start and we have money saved up(around $6,000) so we should be able to survive away from home at least a month. I just graduated college in Florida with a bachelors in business/accounting and I'm currently not working in my field bc so many employers where I'm from want ppl with experience. My bf wants to find an oil job and I really want to know what the job market is like in North Dakota for recent college graduates with NO experience. And with so many skilled workers now applying for the oil jobs will my bf even have a chance at landing one of those jobs?????
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Look at jobsnd.com. There are a lot of jobs in Bismarck, Fargo etc where housing is much more readily available.

For newlyweds, places like Williston are not good for a number of reasons: long hour in field for oil workers (if your husband goes that route), lack of housing, overall level of stress. Moving to another state is stressful enough without all the extra issues of the oil patch. Move to Bismarck (even there housing is difficult) or Fargo or possibly even Grand Forks. All those locales have a lot of jobs. Fargo and GF even have direct flights to Orlando.

There are more open jobs in Fargo than Williston.

Then in a couple of years, when the housing market in oil towns has stabilized, conside a move. Your relationship should be a priority in the first few years out of college, and having a husband in the oil patch makes that difficult.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:40 PM
 
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You didn't mention your age, your husband's age, or his work/academic background. Not saying you shouldn't look for jobs in Williston/Minot/Dickinson, but that you be very selective there, including housing.

If you relocated to Bismarck or eastern ND, it would make the eventual relocation to the oil patch much easier. This oil boom should last for a while, so its not like if you don't move to Williston right now the opportunity will be gone.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:35 AM
 
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Thanks for replying fourwinds! We are both 22, we met in high school and dated for 4 years and we've been married for 1 year. I looked at jobsnd.com and you are pretty much right, most of the jobs in my field are located outside of Williston and Minot. My husband just has a General AA and he has worked at retail/fast food during high school and college. But one of the main reasons we were looking to move there was for him to get a job as an oil worker for a couple years so we could save up money, as much money as possible. That's why I wanted to know how likely it would be for him to get a job with no experience now that so many skilled workers are moving there. No one here where we are from are making that much money with just an AA. Thanks again for your advice
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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I would advise you and your husband to move somewhere other than Williston. It's been almost a month since i moved here and i still haven't gotten used to the lifestyle here. The hardest thing about this town for me have been the stress levels that accompany living here. The stress from a number of things, housing problems, absence of good food, nowhere to go, the fact that the whole town is dead on weekends and holidays. etc I'm not sure i would have been able to last this long if i had a girlfriend or wife with me. The fact that you have a significant other will only make things harder in this town. With regards to job opportunities for recent graduates, even though i'm not a graduate, i do know that having a college degree might be helpful but probably not that much. It would mostly depend on the kind of job you'd be applying for. I know a number of recent graduates who have been without a job for the same amount of time i have. On the other hand i know graduates who have good paying jobs for big companies like Halliburton. The difference is the working graduates got recruited right from their schools before they graduated.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: northwest Minnesota
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I would second what most say.....if you land a job in the oil fields the cost of living will eat up most savings unless you have family there to stay with.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
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An AA is worthless here as employers would be more interested in his fast food career. No joking. I would recommend against coming. The drillers have been talking about a slowdown for the past three weeks and even before that, non-experienced hires were rare in 2012. I recommend staying where you are and keep trying for an accounting position.

Considering you have not lived in a northern climate and northern rural areas, I doubt you would like the change of pace. Rural Florida is a hotbed of metropolitain mess compared to rural Montana or North Dakota.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: MT
112 posts, read 209,498 times
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Yes to all flyingcat 2k, see above. It is spot on to what is happening right now in the basin and FL to ND or MT is going to be a huge culture change for you. You are young, that helps, but not everyone can handle it, and that is not even mentioning a regular winter there.

Apply on-line, see what happens. But your bf, with no oil experience, I would forget about that big pay oil job just because you are there. Does he have any building trades skills, construction boom going on in several of these ND cities,
keep reading this blog...JanND among others has many useful links and practical advise about moving to ND and where to move to to try and up your chances of even finding a place to stay, in Williston, if you could find one (its about a miracle if you do find one), a bed to sleep in is going to be between $1,000 - $1,400 a month, I have read there are over 2,000 people sleeping in their vehicles. And that is a bed to sleep in, you will be sharing a house with other people you don't know. Scorpio123 has boots on the ground in Williston, he knows of what I speak.

Lots of uncertainty in the world market right now, I do think ND growing will go on for a long time, but hiring has definately slowed down since last year when, apparently, if you were breathing you could get a job. I don't see big retailers like Wal-Mart continuing to pay people that live in the community $14-$15 hr for long, they will continue with a core group out of necessity but they would as soon bus a group of temps in to work over stores, which I have heard they have done in Williston. They would not want their other workers in the US to get any ideas about higher pay, would they? If you have heard that fast food in the oil patch is paying $20 hr, that is flat out wrong, at the most $10 hr, and a person can not live on that wage there.

Will oil drop more, I don't know. Lots of players, talk of Saudis upping their production to drive the price down to mess with the Iranians, they are two different tribes and their fights go back thousands of years.

Good Luck, have you thought about trying to get on with the Fed Gov with your a/c degree, ie, IRS, I read with the new health care bill they are hiring a bunch of new people. Great benefits and once you are on you are probably on for long term. Concentrate on your degree and what you can do with that, stay mobile for now, and see what happens. If bf is determined to work oil, start doing research and have him apply on-line from where you are now.

Sorry to have rambled on so long, again, good luck.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
2,785 posts, read 4,563,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimgp View Post
My husband and I are doing research and trying to decide if we should go to North Dakota for job opportunities. We're young with no major responsibilities just looking for a good start and we have money saved up(around $6,000) so we should be able to survive away from home at least a month. I just graduated college in Florida with a bachelors in business/accounting and I'm currently not working in my field bc so many employers where I'm from want ppl with experience. My bf wants to find an oil job and I really want to know what the job market is like in North Dakota for recent college graduates with NO experience. And with so many skilled workers now applying for the oil jobs will my bf even have a chance at landing one of those jobs?????
In what areas are your majors? If they are oil-related in some sort of a way then you'd probably have a decent chance of getting a college-education-requiring job. If not then the market for college graduates is probably only a little less tight than it is anywhere else. Why is that? Because our nation has a gigantic oversupply of college grads, including even those with PhDs, advanced degrees, and professional degrees, and a great many of them would be willing to relocate anywhere for work in their fields.

Also, do keep in mind that North Dakota has two legitimate universities that have about 30,000 students total (so perhaps 7000 of them graduate each year looking for work). There's also Minot State University, so the state doesn't have any shortage of college graduates. Those schools are enough to support a rate of college graduate production that would support having 320,000 college graduates (assuming they'd want to work for 40 years) for a state wtih a population of about 700,000 people where a lower than average percentage of the jobs are white collar or require a college education. (You do the math.)

If you're looking to do blue collar labor (no college education required for the most part), many decent-paying jobs are available, but it would be good to have an actual trade or some blue collar skills. The state also has tons of low-wage service industry jobs (restaurants, retail, customer service reps, etc.).\

One of the huge issues is housing. You might be able to find a job, but can you find a place to live, and will the cost of rent eat most of your paycheck? That's a big issue out in the booming oil fields. You'd want to have a high-paying oil field job to justify the expense and even then it might not be worth it. The cost of living will be higher (even at the supermarket) and you might not be real happy with the type of apartment you can find for $1500 or even $2000 if you can even find one at all. Minot suffered a horrific flood last year that destroyed thousands of houses, and housing was at a premium there before the flood. People sleep in the trucks out in Williston. Even the Bismarck rental market is getting tight.

You might consider Fargo, but that's not really too different from a sizable city anywhere that's doing well. It won't have the job market that the other cities have (no $14/hour to start at a fast food joint). On the other hand, the housing is much more affordable.

Sadly, there isn't any such thing as a hot job market for college graduates anywhere in the country that's akin to the demand for blue collar labor in the oil fields. (And if such a market existed, you can bet that people would be flocking to it from all over the country, glutting it faster than people flood into the oil fields.)
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
2,785 posts, read 4,563,406 times
Reputation: 1694
With an Accounting degree, which is a dime-a-dozen business degree, then it might make sense to come to North Dakota, but to one of the larger cities. You might not get a job in accounting or business, but at least the job market here for something like that has to be better than it is in other parts of the country.

Grand Forks--the problem is that it has the highest percentage of college students per capita (U.ND) of any city in the state, so you would probably want to avoid that city even though it's a fine place to live. Fargo-Moorhead might be a good choice, but North Dakota State U., Minnesota State Moorhead and Concordia college produce college grads. Bismarck might be your best bet for a mix of job market prospects and (relatively) sane cost of living. Fargo and Grand Forks probably offer the best cost of living index.

Alternatively, have you considered other plains state cities that are doing well or OK? Sioux City, Rapid City, Omaha, Des Moines?
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