Don't Become a Scientist Either

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crossarmant
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Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby crossarmant » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:28 am

So, I came across this paper from a Physics professor at WUSTL and he discusses that even getting a Doctorate in Physics is not a good idea because jobs are not there any impossible to come by. He talks about hard work, the rat race mentality, absurdly low pay for a doctoral level educated person, and the eternal shuffling from one institute to another. He argues that even if you love the work and the subject matter, you'll hate the job due to always having to seek grant support, etc.

He even went on to say "I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs." This sounds like so many of the people around the internet hawking the same rhetoric about law school. I was just wondering what TLS's take on this is. Think it's just another case of "Grass is always greener"?

I personally think it's the same story for all higher education, they churn out so many people that it has devalued what used to be worth a lot more. It's difficult because how do you keep the integrity of a degree without making it exclusionary and preventing people from learning? I also think that while job figures for law school grads are rough, they're also equally rough across the board in a lot of fields of study (barring certain types of finance and engineering).

http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/scientist.html

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NYC Law
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby NYC Law » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:31 am

I think most people here have acknowledged that PhD hiring is shit. The advocated position here is to stop racking up education and go get a job.

apollo2015
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby apollo2015 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:13 am

crossarmant wrote:
I personally think it's the same story for all higher education, they churn out so many people that it has devalued what used to be worth a lot more. It's difficult because how do you keep the integrity of a degree without making it exclusionary and preventing people from learning?


My opinion is that you don't. It needs to be exclusionary, at least to the extent that people who do not belong in higher education are kept out of it for their own good. At the same time, we need to reorient society to place more value on careers outside of the college/grad school tracks. (I have the same opinion about the high school track as well.)

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drdolittle
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby drdolittle » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:47 am

crossarmant wrote:He even went on to say "I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs."
Wonder how many drug addicts this guy knows to make such a hyperbolic statement?
crossarmant wrote:I personally think it's the same story for all higher education, they churn out so many people that it has devalued what used to be worth a lot more. It's difficult because how do you keep the integrity of a degree without making it exclusionary and preventing people from learning?
This is a great point and shows a fundamental problem with U.S. 'education policy' of encouraging simply more degree recipients, including PhD's in every field. This is true for hot fields like engineering/comp sci, where the shortage we face in having enough people do essentially grunt work (i.e., making what innovators come up with happen) could be largely fulfilled by UG or Master's level students.

For formal degrees to be worth something, they must be exclusionary and therefore serve as a somewhat fair proxy for ability, distinct skills, connections, pedigree, etc.

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sach1282
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby sach1282 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:15 pm

My dad is a research scientist who is currently at the top of his field. Basically, he loved his job until he became successful. After his success the size of his lab increased so much that he doesn't even get to do any science anymore, all he does it write grants.

However, apparently the travel is a big perk. He gets invited to so many conferences and stuff that if he ever wants to travel all he has to do is look through his email, find a convention in a fun location (such as Australia or Hawaii) and tell them he will come speak.

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Bronck
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Bronck » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:59 pm

sach1282 wrote:My dad is a research scientist who is currently at the top of his field. Basically, he loved his job until he became successful. After his success the size of his lab increased so much that he doesn't even get to do any science anymore, all he does it write grants.

However, apparently the travel is a big perk. He gets invited to so many conferences and stuff that if he ever wants to travel all he has to do is look through his email, find a convention in a fun location (such as Australia or Hawaii) and tell them he will come speak.


Cool

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caputlupinum
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby caputlupinum » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:20 pm

OP, I don't think you get it these are the most pessimistic people on the planet the believe everyone fails at everything in life. If they could off themselves they would but they worry about the likelihood of screwing up the suicide....

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Worker and Parasite
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Worker and Parasite » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:07 pm

The lesson is, never try

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laxbrah420
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby laxbrah420 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:08 pm

when you say scientist, you meant physicist.
Physicists are the laughing stock of the scientific community.

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Br3v
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Br3v » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:09 pm

caputlupinum wrote:OP, I don't think you get it these are the most pessimistic people on the planet the believe everyone fails at everything in life. If they could off themselves they would but they worry about the likelihood of screwing up the suicide....


Who has been picking on you?

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splitbrain
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby splitbrain » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:24 pm

Yeah it's grass-is-greener, but to be fair TLS is more about adjusting one's expectations to be more in line with reality...it's just obviously law school focused because...it's TLS...

It may not always be conveyed in a friendly manner but I'm not sure if the legal profession is a good place for people without a thick skin.

apollo2015 wrote:It needs to be exclusionary, at least to the extent that people who do not belong in higher education are kept out of it for their own good. At the same time, we need to reorient society to place more value on careers outside of the college/grad school tracks. (I have the same opinion about the high school track as well.)


Also, this...sorta. Law's a bit different because a large part of it is a service that most people need at one time or another. The problem is that there's this mentality that all lawyers are created equal (see also: 0L's that will be attending TTT's and TTTT's at sticker). With law, the problem is not the bimodal salary distribution but the costs involved in order for people to get there. I don't see a problem with a bunch of lawyers making ~$40k a year, but I do when they get themselves into $100-200k of debt to get there.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:26 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:when you say scientist, you meant physicist.
Physicists are the laughing stock of the scientific community.



Im glad someone agrees with me on this ^. My roommate is a physics major (im older than him) and I tell him all of the time that his major really isn't as applicable to getting a job as he thinks it is; the fact of the matter is there are almost no fucking jobs for any field, bar accounting/engineering/finance etc...

Same thing with business majors, my UG pumped those babies out like hot cakes.

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splitbrain
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby splitbrain » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:30 pm

--ImageRemoved--

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NZA
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby NZA » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:30 pm

...has anyone stopped to consider the fact that everyone hates their fucking job, no matter what it is?

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby DaftAndDirect » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:32 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
laxbrah420 wrote:when you say scientist, you meant physicist.
Physicists are the laughing stock of the scientific community.



Im glad someone agrees with me on this ^. My roommate is a physics major (im older than him) and I tell him all of the time that his major really isn't as applicable to getting a job as he thinks it is; the fact of the matter is there are almost no fucking jobs for any field, bar accounting/engineering/finance etc...

Same thing with business majors, my UG pumped those babies out like hot cakes.


wait what

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drdolittle
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby drdolittle » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:34 pm

NZA wrote:...has anyone stopped to consider the fact that everyone hates their fucking job, no matter what it is?

:shock:

ajr
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby ajr » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:43 pm

drdolittle wrote:
NZA wrote:...has anyone stopped to consider the fact that everyone hates their fucking job, no matter what it is?

:shock:


This is quite true, even for the millionaire kids whose job is to simply drive around in their Ferraris.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:46 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
laxbrah420 wrote:when you say scientist, you meant physicist.
Physicists are the laughing stock of the scientific community.



Im glad someone agrees with me on this ^. My roommate is a physics major (im older than him) and I tell him all of the time that his major really isn't as applicable to getting a job as he thinks it is; the fact of the matter is there are almost no fucking jobs for any field, bar accounting/engineering/finance etc...

Same thing with business majors, my UG pumped those babies out like hot cakes.


wait what



First and foremost, your avatar is bad ass.

Second, yep. I have a business degree and it hasnt gotten me anywhere than any other major. Albeit it was Business Admin, but that's what the majority of business majors specialize in, at least in my UG. The other focuses in business aren't taken as often. HTH

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JoeFish
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby JoeFish » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:00 pm

Extremely very anecdotal, but still scary: Liberal Arts school I got my UG Mathematics degree from had a pretty respected program, not ranked in any top 10 lists or anything, large math faculty compared to school size, rural location, and received 600 applications for 2 tenure-track positions in the department, which would probably be the only two that open up at the school for 2 or 3 years.

I know mathematician =/= scientist... but tenure-track faculty positions are, I think, pretty consistently like that. And Ph.Ds are tough as all hell to get =-o

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Kikero
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Kikero » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:16 pm

JoeFish wrote:Extremely very anecdotal, but still scary: Liberal Arts school I got my UG Mathematics degree from had a pretty respected program, not ranked in any top 10 lists or anything, large math faculty compared to school size, rural location, and received 600 applications for 2 tenure-track positions in the department, which would probably be the only two that open up at the school for 2 or 3 years.

I know mathematician =/= scientist... but tenure-track faculty positions are, I think, pretty consistently like that. And Ph.Ds are tough as all hell to get =-o


Yep I believe they are. Although it's probably not quite as bad as the number of applicants make it look. Most of those applicants are probably already math professors at other universities, but they're adjunct and/or at schools that don't have tenure. Of course, some of them might be fresh PhD earners with bleak job prospects, but I'd guess not the majority.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:24 pm

JoeFish wrote:Extremely very anecdotal, but still scary: Liberal Arts school I got my UG Mathematics degree from had a pretty respected program, not ranked in any top 10 lists or anything, large math faculty compared to school size, rural location, and received 600 applications for 2 tenure-track positions in the department, which would probably be the only two that open up at the school for 2 or 3 years.

I know mathematician =/= scientist... but tenure-track faculty positions are, I think, pretty consistently like that. And Ph.Ds are tough as all hell to get =-o


Oh for sure, my opinion is extremely anecdotal.

justinp
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby justinp » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:37 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
laxbrah420 wrote:when you say scientist, you meant physicist.
Physicists are the laughing stock of the scientific community.



Im glad someone agrees with me on this ^. My roommate is a physics major (im older than him) and I tell him all of the time that his major really isn't as applicable to getting a job as he thinks it is; the fact of the matter is there are almost no fucking jobs for any field, bar accounting/engineering/finance etc...

Same thing with business majors, my UG pumped those babies out like hot cakes.


It's not like finance majors are doing so hot right now...


Though folks with accounting backgrounds are in demand.

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dingbat
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby dingbat » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:02 pm

Don't Become a Scientist Either

Or a scientologist

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splitbrain
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby splitbrain » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:09 pm

dingbat wrote:
Don't Become a Scientist Either

Or a scientologist


Oh man, there is a museum against psychiatry in Hollywood that is run by them that is just A+ trolling - I brought a few neuro and psych major friends there one day...so worth it.

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Gail
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Re: Don't Become a Scientist Either

Postby Gail » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:47 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
Second, yep. I have a business degree and it hasnt gotten me anywhere than any other major. Albeit it was Business Admin, but that's what the majority of business majors specialize in, at least in my UG. The other focuses in business aren't taken as often. HTH


Pretty much. Fuck our collective lives.


If you aren't an accountant/engineer/science/math guy then life sucks for you and will for the next century.


Why couldn't I have been good at the maths?!?!?




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