Thursday, January 21, 2010

Things they don't tell you in school

"We do not need more scientists, but academic science as practiced depends on a large surplus of expendable trainees (grad students and postdocs) who have to believe that a career in research is an attainable goal. This creates an overtrained, underemployed workforce, but the alternative is to make "trainee" type research positions professional positions, which would be expensive. First, because you would have to offer real salaries and benefits, and second you could not create the illusion that working 80 hour weeks for 40,000 a year is going to someday get you your own lab, meaning less work out of each employee."
From a comment here via this post


Anonymous said...

I was told repeatedly by more senior students in the various labs that I have worked at that science is a poor career path and that there are no jobs. Only do it if you enjoy it. So in a way, they DO tell you 'things' in school.
Science is bottom heavy like McDonald's. One good thing about this is that the people at the top that take our tax dollars have to be smart and hard working to compete for those positions. The bad part is mentioned in on of the links in the post, smart people get turned away from science because of the lack of incentives.