STEM PhD oversupply

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
  2. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    The jobs probably already got outsourced, probably under the same mentality that Steve Jobs used to justify outsourcing.
  3. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    The article is depressing. I still dream about working on a PhD some day. Guess I'll stick with my day job.
  4. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    The depressing part was struggling to find an industry job. Can't find an academia job? No one ever said there was a STEM need there. Almost every field in academia is full (except for newer/emerging fields), waiting for those baby boomer and older tenure track profs to retire/die before a flux of hiring happens there.
  5. VulchR, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    The sad fact is that life science research has become a pyramid scam, with senior scientists living off the work of PhD students and post-docs. It was inevitable given many labs train far more people than there are positions. All of my former PhD's and post-doc's have jobs, for I take only one or two at a time. However, one- third of them did not get the academic jobs they wanted and I am criticised for my 'low' PhD count (the University only counts degrees awarded as an index of success - employment after graduation is not even properly polled). There had been a bloodbath in pharma, so I tell new junior people in my lab to keep their options open, planning properly for a non-science career as well as one in science.

    It would help if governments would stop buying into the myth that big labs are the most efficient ones. There should be caps on how many PhD's a senior researcher can supervise.
  6. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    I wonder what the unemployment rate is for PhD's in fields such as english/policial science/sociology.

    I cannot imagine it's better.
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
  8. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    It's difficult in many fields to accurately gauge demand by the time a person earns an advanced degree like a PhD--several years in the future. If this story were posted on a site like CNN, most of the comments would be from dimwits saying things like "Well, its your own fault, you should not have gone into that field, you're irresponsible and now you are whining about it. blah blah blah. "
  9. iStudentUK, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012

    iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    Well that's what they get for underfunding science and technology research for decades- then cutting it! I read chemistry, I and so many of my fellow science graduates now work in the City in law, accounting, banking etc. Whist I never really saw myself in research anyway, after arriving at uni I was well and truely put off. Couple of my friends stayed on doing DPhils, and they enjoy it but will find the post-doc environment very tough.
  10. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    The endless supply of Law and Politics students that fill the corridors of government don't want too many people with actual knowledge, because they tend to use facts that ruin the political narrative.

    We'd do well to ban Political Science degrees altogether IMO.
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    sad but true on the CNN. A degree in science is generally considered a safe and good bet for finding a good paying job. Big time when you factor in the attention rate for the people just going after BS.

    Engineering is also considered safe and one were we have a massive shortage in the pipe line as the tail end of the last big boom there is getting closer to retirement and the head of the big boom is retiring. They know they do not have enough to fill that gap much less handing the ones leaving but that is engineering.
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    I think I see where you are going with this, and if so, I agree.

    Training kids how to manipulate other well-meaning individuals is extremely disingenuous, for a life-long occupation.

    But then we get into lawyers, etc, and where do you draw the line?? ;)

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