Society for Underwater Technology chairman Terry Griffiths said the growing skills shortage could be turned into a "skilled education opportunity."
Griffiths is among the industry leaders who will be taking part in the Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference careers day in Perth on February 24.
He said the skills shortage offered a unique chance for students with the right skills and motivation to progress their careers.
"The current trend is for Australia to supplement its skills base by importing significant numbers of workers, however this is a double-edged sword" Griffiths said.
"People need to think of the situation as a global issue with opportunities for local educational institutions to further strengthen their focus on excelling in the education of talented students.
"The skills shortage extends beyond just the oil and gas industry. It encompasses a wide range of disciplines and careers involved in the offshore, subsea and marine fields.
"They are all facing a demographic time-bomb where there are expected to be substantial numbers of skilled and experienced people retiring over the next few years."
"Without an appreciation of the interesting, challenging and exciting careers which are available in oil and gas, too many students are choosing to drop the core maths and science subjects which are essential to moving into this field."
The AOG day invites tertiary maths, science and engineering students to come and learn more about the graduate programmes and career opportunities available with some of Australasia's largest oil and gas employers.
To register visit www.aogexpo.com.au/careersday