Unemployment for PhDs May Be Down, but What’s Out There for the Unemployed?

July 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Job hunting can be difficult, even for a scientist.

We previously did a post that examined the lower unemployment rates among PhD holders compared with the rest of the population. That statistic looks good on the surface, but what’s out there for those that are unemployed. Dr. Josh Bloom, Director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at the American Council of Science and Health, wrote in the New York Post in June that there’s not much, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry and in teaching. Should currently and soon to be unemployed scientists worried about the status of the industry?

The United States currently ranks 27th out of 29th in graduating college students with degrees in science or engineering. As dismal at that rating is, our low number of college students graduating with science and engineering degrees also suggests that we don’t have a whole lot of up and coming scientists ready to take the place of those retiring, or able to carry on the research and technical progress necessary to keep our country moving. Could this be why these jobs are dying? There’s hardly anyone out there to replace those that are leaving?

This whole idea was prompted by Scientific American’s “1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days”, an initiative meant to connect scientists, mathematicians, and engineers with science educators so as to boost science learning in our schools and exchange ideas. Not a bad idea, if it didn’t have to take so long.

Another way, a shorter way, to find science jobs and to connect with other scientists from around the world is to be part of the extensive science network of iAMscientist. Not only does iAMscientist have researchers, engineers, mathematicians, and other scientific specialists, but it also provides a forum to share research, post jobs, request proposals, and form collaborative efforts on research projects with members. And all this with people across four continents, not just here in the United States.

Although Dr. Bloom shouldn’t be completely discredited, with iAMscientist, unemployed scientists shouldn’t give up hope just yet and make a career change. The change that needs to be made here is one with the perception of science in this country.

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§ One Response to Unemployment for PhDs May Be Down, but What’s Out There for the Unemployed?

  • ali says:

    do you understand “labor arbitrage”=h1b (or proposed F-4)? a society that turns its most intelligent to insecure underpaid workers will suffer.

    How can we so foolish as lowering wages and standards from the intellectual top?

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