Study science...and still be unemployed?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2011 3:09 PM GMT
    http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/bad-astronomy-does-some-bad-economics.html
    Genetics: 7.4% unemployed
    Biochemical Sciences: 7.1% unemployed
    Neuroscience: 7.2% unemployed
    Materials Engineering and Materials Science: 7.5% unemployed
    Computer Engineering: 7.0% unemployed
    Biomedical Engineering: 5.9% unemployed
    General Engineering: 5.9% unemployed
    Engineering Mechanics Physics and Science: 6.5% unemployed
    Chemistry: 5.1% unemployed
    Electrical Engineering: 5.0% unemployed
    Molecular Biology: 5.3% unemployed
    Mechanical Engineering and Related Technologies: 6.6% unemployed
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Nov 13, 2011 8:51 PM GMT
    What a tragedy that these students cannot find employment. That a degree in biology is essentially worthless. That we devalue science to the point where having a career in science is deemed unsustainable (if you want to eat, that is).

    America would do well to get its priorities in order and start investing in raising the next generation of scientists..
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Nov 13, 2011 9:15 PM GMT
    This is why you go to a professional school afterwards (not pharmacy and not law)

    A BS in these fields is mostly worthless or will get you a lowly technician job for around $10/hr.The thing is most pharmaceutical companies or chemical producing companies do the production in other countries, namely India.

    Biology degrees have been worthless for a while. They used to tell us that a chemistry or biochemistry degree is useful. But you will need advanced training of at least another year to get certified to be able to work in related fields. And you need advanced degrees for better jobs. PhD unemployment rate is very low compared to the general population, less than 2% in 2008. And most of these people don't have to worry about paying graduate tuition or more loans.
    dancedancekj saidWhat a tragedy that these students cannot find employment. That a degree in biology is essentially worthless. That we devalue science to the point where having a career in science is deemed unsustainable (if you want to eat, that is).

    America would do well to get its priorities in order and start investing in raising the next generation of scientists..


    People can't find jobs because they are not skilled enough for the jobs in the US. How did we devalue science in that scientific degrees have higher unemployment rates? It is not society's job to find jobs for a graduate. It is the graduate's job to mold themselves to fit the needs of the society.
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    Nov 13, 2011 9:19 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidhttp://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/bad-astronomy-does-some-bad-economics.html
    Genetics: 7.4% unemployed
    Biochemical Sciences: 7.1% unemployed
    Neuroscience: 7.2% unemployed
    Materials Engineering and Materials Science: 7.5% unemployed
    Computer Engineering: 7.0% unemployed
    Biomedical Engineering: 5.9% unemployed
    General Engineering: 5.9% unemployed
    Engineering Mechanics Physics and Science: 6.5% unemployed
    Chemistry: 5.1% unemployed
    Electrical Engineering: 5.0% unemployed
    Molecular Biology: 5.3% unemployed
    Mechanical Engineering and Related Technologies: 6.6% unemployed
    That's probably because around 7% of scientists suck at their jobs.
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    Nov 13, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    commoncoll saidPeople can't find jobs because they are not skilled enough for the jobs in the US. How did we devalue science in that scientific degrees have higher unemployment rates? It is not society's job to find jobs for a graduate. It is the graduate's job to mold themselves to fit the needs of the society.

    Excellent point. Runs counter to the belief some have that they are entitled to a job rather than ensuring their education and skills measure up.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Nov 13, 2011 9:33 PM GMT
    Here are the statistics for the doctoral graduates. There are several table there to look at.
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf11308/
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    Nov 13, 2011 9:33 PM GMT
    In electronics, we can design new products, make a difference with a 4-year.
    My friend in high school stuck with chemistry. Got his masters degree.

    Found he was qualified to analyze compounds, but he would need a PHD to do anything creative besides writing reports.

    After a few years of managing a medical lab, he went back and got his teaching certification and now teaches high-school chemistry.

    A challenge is we have good reasons to expect a new pharma drug to be tested extensively. But, with drug and healthcare costs being examined extensively for cost-savings, a lot of lab work has been offshored to China and India.

    Cause--effect.


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    Nov 13, 2011 10:03 PM GMT
    commoncoll saidHere are the statistics for the doctoral graduates. There are several table there to look at.
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf11308/

    Yup, doctorates do much better.
    And that's sad--because not everybody can get a Masters or much less a PhD, because of our exorbitantly expensive higher education system.
    And where do companies get their cheaper PhDs? China and India. (and rail against the H1B visa)
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Nov 14, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    commoncoll saidHere are the statistics for the doctoral graduates. There are several table there to look at.
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf11308/

    Yup, doctorates do much better.
    And that's sad--because not everybody can get a Masters or much less a PhD, because of our exorbitantly expensive higher education system.
    And where do companies get their cheaper PhDs? China and India. (and rail against the H1B visa)

    In most doctoral programs in science, the tuition is payed by the university. The student can choose to TA a class or two and they receive a minor stipend usually around $20,000 or so. The cheaper PhD part is true. It's also important for students to go to name-recognition programs to be able to have better access to the good jobs or to have a change at publishing papers.

    When I was in my senior year in college, some of the people had their costs to interview at fairly respectable PhD programs paid by that university. Many people who were not able to matriculate into medical/dental schools chose other doctoral programs like PhD, law, pharmacy, psychiatry, etc. That tells you about demand-supply.
    RobertF64 saidIn , we can design new products, make a difference with a 4-year.
    My friend in high school stuck with chemistry. Got his masters degree.

    Much of the electric engineering industry has also moved to India and China, hasn't it?
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    Nov 14, 2011 2:20 AM GMT
    Commoncoll, I understand how PhD programs are funded (especially the biological sciences). But I was trying to make the point that to get to a Masters or PhD, you have to go through college first, which is exorbitantly expensive and getting more so every year...at least for private colleges.

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  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Nov 14, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidCommoncoll, I understand how PhD programs are funded (especially the biological sciences). But I was trying to make the point that to get to a Masters or PhD, you have to go through college first, which is exorbitantly expensive and getting more so every year...at least for private colleges.

    I went to a private college. It's true, it was very expensive. My tuition increased from $2200 to $3500, the avg was $3200 or so. The per year tuition was about $32000The avg student carried a debt of around $22,000$. The Pell grant has been cut. The state grant that went to private colleges in Texas has been cut.The subsidised loans are not subsidized anymore.
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    Nov 14, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    commoncoll said
    Much of the electric engineering industry has also moved to India and China, hasn't it?

    A lot of engineering takes place in the US, Korea, and Japan. It tends to get assembled overseas.

    It is now possible for an athletic apparel company to contract out the design to a US-based consultant firm, who contracts out the manufacturing of a GPS-tracking wristwatch to Taiwan or China and help them get into production.

    You give up a bit of control and profit that way. But, it beats having to form your own electronics company.

    Those are not turnkey, unfortunately.

    But, when the product is done, you can set the consultants loose and they go find other work.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Nov 14, 2011 4:10 AM GMT
    commoncoll saidThis is why you go to a professional school afterwards (not pharmacy and not law)

    A BS in these fields is mostly worthless or will get you a lowly technician job for around $10/hr.The thing is most pharmaceutical companies or chemical producing companies do the production in other countries, namely India.

    Biology degrees have been worthless for a while. They used to tell us that a chemistry or biochemistry degree is useful. But you will need advanced training of at least another year to get certified to be able to work in related fields. And you need advanced degrees for better jobs. PhD unemployment rate is very low compared to the general population, less than 2% in 2008. And most of these people don't have to worry about paying graduate tuition or more loans.
    dancedancekj saidWhat a tragedy that these students cannot find employment. That a degree in biology is essentially worthless. That we devalue science to the point where having a career in science is deemed unsustainable (if you want to eat, that is).

    America would do well to get its priorities in order and start investing in raising the next generation of scientists..


    People can't find jobs because they are not skilled enough for the jobs in the US. How did we devalue science in that scientific degrees have higher unemployment rates? It is not society's job to find jobs for a graduate. It is the graduate's job to mold themselves to fit the needs of the society.


    Ahhhhh. I was being way overdramatic in my comment, thank you for bringing me back to center. I knew when starting undergraduate that my biology degree was worthless, so I continued for my doctorate, so my comment makes even less sense now icon_smile.gif


  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Nov 14, 2011 4:16 AM GMT
    commoncoll said
    q1w2e3 saidCommoncoll, I understand how PhD programs are funded (especially the biological sciences). But I was trying to make the point that to get to a Masters or PhD, you have to go through college first, which is exorbitantly expensive and getting more so every year...at least for private colleges.

    I went to a private college. It's true, it was very expensive. My tuition increased from $2200 to $3500, the avg was $3200 or so. The per year tuition was about $32000The avg student carried a debt of around $22,000$. The Pell grant has been cut. The state grant that went to private colleges in Texas has been cut.The subsidised loans are not subsidized anymore.


    And then the question is how to finance a science education? I know one option is the military. For the health professions, there are rural or public locations that forgive student debt. For the better paying professions, the student loan debt is somewhat manageable, but for some of the lower paying professions, the amount of debt that can be accumulated is staggering - into the hundreds of thousands. Should there not be some kind of reform for tuition before students pursuing their PhD and MD find they have locked themselves into debt they cannot repay?
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Nov 14, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    dancedancekj said
    commoncoll said
    q1w2e3 saidCommoncoll, I understand how PhD programs are funded (especially the biological sciences). But I was trying to make the point that to get to a Masters or PhD, you have to go through college first, which is exorbitantly expensive and getting more so every year...at least for private colleges.

    I went to a private college. It's true, it was very expensive. My tuition increased from $2200 to $3500, the avg was $3200 or so. The per year tuition was about $32000The avg student carried a debt of around $22,000$. The Pell grant has been cut. The state grant that went to private colleges in Texas has been cut.The subsidised loans are not subsidized anymore.


    And then the question is how to finance a science education? I know one option is the military. For the health professions, there are rural or public locations that forgive student debt. For the better paying professions, the student loan debt is somewhat manageable, but for some of the lower paying professions, the amount of debt that can be accumulated is staggering - into the hundreds of thousands. Should there not be some kind of reform for tuition before students pursuing their PhD and MD find they have locked themselves into debt they cannot repay?

    These are such complicated questions. Is it the people's job to pay for somebody's PhD? It is a personal choice to pursue higher education, should the person be responsible for it?

    I do agree there needs to be tuition reform. I am not sure how society can go about it. Education is expensive but I guess it is also in line with earnings. PhDs in science are already paid for by the PhD program. I have not heard of a physician who was unable to pay off their loans. I also don't have any loans from undergrad, but the great majority of my classmates did. I could never have rationalized a degree in social work or education at the cost I paid per year. And I think people have to think about the choices they make.

    I go to a public medical school in Texas, so I pay one of the lowest in the nation. A great majority of the cost is paid by the state. So I guess I would feel different if I had to pay $50,000/yr.

    How does it work for dental programs? How high are the debts for your fellow graduates? Were any of you anticipating not being able to pay them?