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#### sschoe2

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2011, 05:50:14 AM »

Your right in most cases the MS actually pays less than a BS if you take into account that instead of spending those two years working you are at the university earning far less money.

I can say I have looked at a lot of chem job ads and the majority of them simply count the MS as a BS with 2 years of experience. There are generally no separate jobs categories for BS, MS, and Ph. D chemists. There are mainly two. BS/MS or Ph. D. The number of Ph. D. jobs are significantly lower than the number of MS/BS jobs and the Ph. D. chemists I went to school with found the Ph. D. jobs so glutted with candidates that they considered removing it from their resume to get a job.

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#### DrCMS

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2011, 06:29:40 AM »

Who in their right mind would spend $20k+ on a difficult and time consuming course of study and get a graduate degree even when you have a 20% or less chance of even mediocre employment when you are done. I dispute the 20% employment figures you throw around but people who want to do a job that they have an interest in will study the subjects they enjoy. If you think all that counts in a job is the wage you are a fool. I guess could earn more money if I had become say an accountant rather than a chemist. I choose to do chemistry because I liked it and am quite good at it. I actually found physics easier in school and got higher grades with less effort but did not like it as much as chemistry. I was at university for ~8 years to get my BSc and then PhD and I enjoyed most of that time. Probably there were a couple of years in there that were the best of my life. Good friends, not too much work pressure, little money but no money worries and a care free single life. Then I hit the real world and had to work very hard in a different more structured way. I like my job most of the time and it pays me enough to have a good life but I have put years of effort in to get here and I still put it in now. Logged #### sschoe2 • Regular Member • Mole Snacks: +3/-3 • Offline • Posts: 21 ##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life « Reply #32 on: July 14, 2011, 07:45:10 AM » I agree that money is not the only factor, but nowadays especially it needs to be on the scale when weighing the pros and cons of a career. This is not a case of people getting greedy and whining about not getting 6 figure salaries like CEO's. This is about scientists asking for a living wage, health insurance, sick leave, having a job for more than 5 years at a time, and a middle class income say$50k or so like even most blue-collar workers get. I don't think it is unreasonable for a bright American with a science degree to earn the median income.

Companies have gone to laying off their chemists every 5 years or keeping them as temps with no benefits. Whether or not you like chemistry, you need to have food, clothing, shelter, health insurance and a little bit for other things is also nice. Also, most people aspire to own a home and have a family. Chemistry isn't worth sacrificing all that for most people and it isn't right to have to watch your children suffer. They should not have to go to substandard schools, be denied good medical care, live in dangerous neighborhoods, have to move all over the country every 5 years chasing a new job when you are laid off all because you like science and wanted what you thought would be a rewarding career and companies think it is cute to pay their science staff blue-collar wages.

If that is the choice US companies are giving me then I'll take accounting and learn to like it. I'm afriad all that hard work needed to get a science degree is not worth it in the end.
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#### enahs

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2011, 07:56:47 AM »

$50,000 median income is for a two househould family. The median income per individual is ~$26,000 currently.

The median income per individual is ~$26,000 currently. That's it? it seems really low? Logged #### sschoe2 • Regular Member • Mole Snacks: +3/-3 • Offline • Posts: 21 ##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life « Reply #36 on: July 18, 2011, 02:48:40 AM » Where I live all municipal workers, Police, Fire, garbage collectors; elevator installers, plumbers, welders, every blue collar profession you can name earn more money and have better benefits than the chemists. Around here chemists work via an agency to shield the company from employer laws, and pay$15 to $20 an hour no benefits, no career development, no raises, eventually you are fired with 1 phone call and no recourse and in some cases unemployment compensation (some companies declare you 1099 even though it is nearly always against the tax code). Logged #### enahs • 16-92-15-68 32-7-53-92-16 • Retired Staff • Sr. Member • Mole Snacks: +205/-44 • Offline • Gender: • Posts: 2180 ##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life « Reply #37 on: July 18, 2011, 06:47:14 AM » And Where I live all municipal workers, Police, Fire, garbage collectors; elevator installers, plumbers, welders, every blue collar profession you can name earn more money and have better benefits than the chemists. Around here chemists work via an agency to shield the company from employer laws, and pay$15 to $20 an hour no benefits, no career development, no raises, eventually you are fired with 1 phone call and no recourse and in some cases unemployment compensation (some companies declare you 1099 even though it is nearly always against the tax code). And I know it might seem that way, but what you say is unlikely in many cases. The median sanitation worker salary is from$9.50-$12.25 an hour. Yes, there are people that have been there a long time and get a lot more; but it is also hard work and LONG hours. Police officer salary varies widely, but there are MANY places where they are only getting ~$20K a year. Seriously. And it is STRESSFUL and dangerous.
Firefighters do make good money. But they have a very dangerous and risky job. But in reality, 71% of the US firefighters are voluntary. Getting the paid firefighter gig is EXTREMELY competitive, in many places it is more competitive then getting into the most ivy league school you can imagine.

Welders, yes, if they are good, make damn good money. I have previously posted here to other people not sure about chemistry and just want to make good money. But, you have to be a good welder to make good money, and it is not as easy it it seems (I weld, trust me). Otherwise, just your average basic welder also gets $15-$20 an hour.

Real plumbers make good money; but there are very few real plumbers out there. Most that work in the plumbing field are just "technicians" and average from $9-$12.

I know it seems like they get more, and I am sure there are quite a few of those professions were people make more. But the hard truth of the matter is, they do not. If you are getting $20 an hour with a bachelors degree you are making 40+K a year. That is FAR higher then "blue collar" jobs. But the truth is, if you only have a BSc degree in Chemistry, you are only looking at specialized "blue collar" jobs that pay a little more then other people; unless you are lucky, or at a company with room for advancement. You can keep saying all these false claims, but I am actually looking up these statistics from US labor sites; not just my feeling on what they make, or what I know one guy makes. If you have a$40K a year job, you are making more money a year then 45% of the population makes with a dual income household!

I am sorry you feel entitled to be making more because you have a degree; but you are not.

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#### Doc Oc

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2011, 08:05:23 AM »

This is starting to get personal.  This is a very polarizing issue and there is truth on both sides.  Chemistry as a major is not dead and there are good jobs that are not dead end careers (although those dead end jobs do exist, and yes, there's plenty of them).  On the other hand, it's completely obtuse (and ignorant, in my opinion) to say that people who are unemployed/underemployed got there by not working hard to promote their careers.  The past few years have absolutely laid waste to our field, and that is undeniable.  The fact that people are struggling certainly isn't a measure of their effort (although sometimes it is), nor can blame be assigned to a single metric like that (high unemployment, continued outsourcing, growing glut of Ph.D grads, all are also factors in the tough labor market).

The truth is, life is unfair.  Sometimes you work hard and someone else doesn't, and they get a really great job while you struggle.  At the same time, it doesn't mean that chemistry sucks and no one should do it, there IS opportunity out there for some good jobs.

Rather than continuing this pissing contest, why don't people who have good jobs start relaying their experiences and give advice?  Where can people look to find good opportunities?  How do you go about making sure your application actually gets received rather than going into the online resume black hole?  If you've hired people, how do you like to see the resume/CV organized?
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#### xplosive58

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2011, 12:19:07 AM »

Hello, this is my first post here. I am currently pursuing my BSc and have been very worried from the mixed reports I've been reading about graduating with a bachelors and not being able to find a job.

It is very confusing because depending on the source, I get drastically different answers.  My school's career center and Academic Adviser assured me not to worry, and I've had a doctor tell me that a chemistry degree would over qualify me as medical lab technician, while job listings require tech school (something I could have done in 1-2 years).

I've read many similar stories on the internet as scchoe's that put a BSc in the same category as a philosophy or english degree.

I wish I had a clearer picture of what to expect, because if it really is that bad, I might as well drop out now and deliver pizzas or something.

I would like to comment though on alternative college degrees. Apart from computer science and possibly accounting, there arent many shining degrees out there that immediately guarantee 50k/year job with benefits the rest of your life. I personally cant stand either of those.

I do have a friend who got an internship with an associates degree in Chemistry and got offered a job making 45k/year (which will slowly increase to about 70) and is finishing up his bachelor's now, so I'm putting a lot of effort right now into looking for internships and hoping to go a similar route.
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#### sschoe2

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #40 on: August 08, 2011, 07:13:40 AM »

Of course your academic advisers are telling you not to worry. They have no clue what it is like trying to get a decent job with a science graduate degree let alone just a BS. They don't give a rats anus as long as their classes are filled and they are collecting tuition. All they do is parrot the shortage of scientists nonsense.

Companies hire their science staff as disposable temps for $15 an hour. Also, with just a BS you will be lucky to even get that. This profession is a complete dead end. Most chemists dump the field and go to professional school or some other direction within 5 years rather than put up with the absolute abuse and exploitation companies put their science staff though all the while crying shortage need more H1-B's. You will likely never see$50K and benefits in your short and unfulfilling career as a lab serf.

If you are looking for a viable career switch to business, computer science, engineering, nursing, or go to professional school. A BS in Biology or chemistry has a negative return an investment.
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#### sschoe2

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2011, 05:40:05 AM »

BTW Chemistry just made number 9 on the list of the 20 most useless degrees.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/04/27/20-most-useless-degrees.html
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#### billnotgatez

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2011, 06:55:40 AM »

figures never lie but liars often figure

lies, damn lies, statistics

The average human has one breast and one testicle.

------------------------------------
I am one of those BS in biology persons who is doing statistics for a living rather than biology.
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#### Wald_ron

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2011, 08:59:57 AM »

BTW Chemistry just made number 9 on the list of the 20 most useless degrees.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/04/27/20-most-useless-degrees.html

lol art history number 13
starting salary :  39400
48,000 awarded degrees

Photography number 14
start 35,100
hahhaahhaha lol

art number 16
start 33500
90k students

this website is a load of black tar at the base of my round bottom.

What are they basing there numbers on? where did they get these statistics?
How are they determining that chemistry is a useless degree?

Notice how it says Median starting instead of average.
Fishy

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I've never seen a mole in a bag of animal crackers , but I've heard they're tasty. Can I have one please

#### sschoe2

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##### Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2011, 10:49:13 AM »

according to the site the criteria used are

Data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale:

• Starting and mid-career salary levels, using the profession most associated with the degree.
• The expected change in the total number of jobs from 2008-2018.
• The expected percentage change in available jobs from 2008-2018.

Chemistry expected change in the number of jobs 2008-2018: +2,100 over 10 years