The Ph.D Bust: America’s Awful Market for Young Scientists

by phdscam

Here’s the original theatlantic article. Few points and their analysis follows:

Politicians and businessmen are fond of talking about America‘s scientist shortage — the dearth of engineering and lab talent that will inevitably leave us sputtering in the global economy.

The gigantic hypocrisy of all those high up in academic ladders is staggering. They dont have your best interest in mind.

The graphs below, drawn from National Science Foundation data and some of my own calculations, depict Ph.D. employment at graduation.First, the big picture. Here is the entire market for Ph.D.’s

The pattern reaching back to 2001 is clear — fewer jobs, more unemployment, and more post-doc work — especially in the sciences. A post doc essentially translates into toiling as a low-paid lab hand (emphasis on low-paid as shown below.) Once it was just a one or two-year rite of passage where budding scientists honed their research skills. Now it can stretch on for half a decade .


You see where this is going, right? You will be interviewed by undergraduates for ACTUAL jobs that pay.

Now let’s break out the science and engineering fields. In life sciences, such as biology, graduates now have a far better chance of being unemployed when they get their diploma than of having a full-time job.

True for any discipline, not just science and engineering.

In disciplines like physics and chemistry, the percentage of employed have also fallen just below the unemployed.

This is news to me!

And finally, the humanities Ph.D.’s ..

Humanities PhDs offer no monetary benefits. These PhDs are totally worthless. You can try to come up with convoluted reasonings why it’s helpful in any way.

…she does find that fewer than 1 in 6 are in tenure track academic positions — smaller than than the number still stuck in post doc positions (in green). A full 10 percent are out of the labor force or working part-time, though at least some in that group are likely women raising children.

More likely, about 1 in 30 chance of being interviewed for a faculty position for any applicant. Unless, you want to work in the middle of nowhere with zero benefits.

Most these Ph.D.’s will eventually find work — and probably decently compensated work at that.

WRONG! It will take a long time to find employment and it wont be in your field of expertise. Ask your friends to see who got employments in their field of expertise.