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Author Topic: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life  (Read 100174 times)

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sschoe2

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2011, 03:32:46 AM »

Have you looked at what has happened with pharma over the past few years. I wouldn't get an MS in a pharmaceutical science and count on getting a good job doing discovery research work. That stuff is going to China and India. Pharma is laying off, off shoring, and outsourcing (permatemps) their work.

As I said there are some jobs out there with decent pay but the competition is just too hard to count on. It is like trying to get a handshake from the president in a crowd of 100,000 while being at the back of the crowd. Just saying "boo hoo you need to try harder and compete or you have a bad attitude" is a cheap/worthless blow off by someone unable to counter the valid points made.

Geographic flexibility is a temporary band-aid at best. You can move around for a while averaging 5 years between layoffs. You'd better not buy a house or you will be stuck where you are with no job and unable to sell. Also, your family won't appreciate having less stability than even those in the Military moving from station to station. At least the military guarantees you will have food, shelter, medical care, and a paycheck.

I am heading back for an accounting degree and going the CPA route. I don't see the market for chemists changing anytime in the next decade at least and probably not ever. Also, anyone with the inteligence for a chemistry degree has so many better options than barely eeking by in poverty and long periods of un/under employment.

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Guitarmaniac86

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2011, 06:12:43 AM »

Or you know, the actual MSc is diverse enough for me to branch out into either pharma, forensics, analytical chemistry or get into medicine... Chemistry isnt a dead end like you are saying. I know a fair amount of people in the UK who have had sucessful careers as chemists... So... Stop with the negativity...?
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408

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2011, 08:46:52 AM »

I thought I wanted to be a chemist till I watched "lord of war".

Now I am thinking international arms dealer.

Thoughts?

Or a hobo.  that would be cool too.

.


Money is what you make it to be.  I value having a job I enjoy over one I only count down the hours till the end of the day.  I am in grad school doing exactly what I have always wanted to do.  Chemistry was a major financial expenditure before I started grad school, so I find myself with more free cash in grad school....

But as a high paying high powered job to the top, yeah chemistry is a dead end.
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sschoe2

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2011, 09:57:20 AM »

Or you know, the actual MSc is diverse enough for me to branch out into either pharma, forensics, analytical chemistry or get into medicine... Chemistry isnt a dead end like you are saying. I know a fair amount of people in the UK who have had sucessful careers as chemists... So... Stop with the negativity...?
Forensics is very competitive (thanks to CSI also only state govts and some large cities employ) low paying (start $35-45k) and rather boring. It is doing an assembly line of GC/MS for narcotics or DNA testing exactly as the established protocols call for and filling out the hordes of paperwork with no errors because so much as a missing date will cause the evidence to get tossed and the rapist to go free. 

Analytical Chem most of the jobs also consist of doing endless HPLC or GC/MS using the same method over and over again for $15 to $20 temp no benefits. Also once employers see analytical chemist they think mindless automaton and won't consider you for any other sort of job. I've been fighting this the whole year dealing with jerk-off employers who bring you to an interview and tell you well we do research that isn't all by the book and an analytical lab rat can't possibly.
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PsiXPsi

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2011, 04:49:38 PM »

Sorry, my friend who just got PhD in Organic Synthesis is (within 2 months of graduating) working at Intel, working on the Sandy Bridge i7's and making $98k + benefits a year.  I refuse to accept that chemistry leads to unemployment.
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BluePill

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2011, 08:15:30 PM »

I beg to disagree that there isn't enough jobs for chemistry students. Companies choose people who could deliver. Maybe your CV doesn't look promising or you slacked off during college. Even as a BSc, I have received a lot of job offers from large companies. I turned it down because I want to pursue a higher degree. My classmates all had jobs after graduation. Of course, you have to start at the bottom and make your way up. That's life.
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sschoe2

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2011, 03:56:54 AM »

http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2011/03/well-thats-not-good-news.html

The stats speak for themselves. Less than 40% of grads are full time employed and half of them are working a dead end techie job at the local university (even with an MS).

I get tons of calls too but from temp agencies wanting me to work for $15 an hour without benefits. I can do better in fast food management. At least they get benefits. As far as companies are concerned chemists are toilet paper. Use them for the dirty work then toss them away.

This isn't a case of starting at the bottom entry level. If you end up running samples no company will ever consider you for decent formulations or product development jobs. In fact the longer you stay at such a job the less likely you are to ever advance. 

My advice to the rest of my family and to people in general is to stay as far away from science careers as possible and leave that to exploited third worlders.  That is where the field is headed anyways.
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408

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2011, 11:08:57 AM »

If there is 1000s in the competition then get your s#*$ in order to come out on top.

post edit... really?  swear filtering  ::)
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billnotgatez

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2011, 05:56:52 PM »

we been doing the swear filtering for some time
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DrCMS

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2011, 10:21:37 PM »

All I can hear is

"I've got a degree in chemistry but I haven't walked straight out of university into my dream job so chemistry is a crap subject"

"poor me, life is hard work and I don't like it"

"it must be the fault of chemistry because I'm perfect in every way"

The real world is tough and only those who are willing to put the effort in succeed.  It has always been like that but way too many young people these days have a sense of entitlement and an expectation that they will succeed just because they want to not because they work hard and have some talent.

Grow up and get real or sod off and stop whinging about it here. 
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sschoe2

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2011, 05:06:35 AM »

Is that really all you guys have to counter with is cheap blow offs and a derogatory attitude?

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. People who are intelligent enough to survive quantum mechanics and organic chemistry have so many better options for making a living and American Companies that cry for scientists and offer them janitor wages are a disgrace. 

I say Americans should just give the finger to the people crying for more scientists and stay out of the field until our society gets its priorities straight.
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enahs

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2011, 05:19:40 AM »

Is that really all you guys have to counter with is cheap blow offs and a derogatory attitude?

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. People who are intelligent enough to survive quantum mechanics and organic chemistry have so many better options for making a living and American Companies that cry for scientists and offer them janitor wages are a disgrace.  

I say Americans should just give the finger to the people crying for more scientists and stay out of the field until our society gets its priorities straight.

So, what you just said shows us how much information you have, and how bad of a candidate for Chemistry you were.
If you have to pay for graduate school, you are doing it wrong.

The national average for stipends in graduate program in chemistry is right around $20K a year. That is, the school pays the students $20K+ a year to get their graduate degree.

I got paid $18K/year for MS, and $28k/year for PhD. I got paid to get my degrees.


Perhaps you should listen to other people and your own opinions and change fields. Everything you say shows you are not cut out for Chemistry, from knowledge to training to attutide, which is fine, that is not an insult. So change fields, but why ruin something for other people when they like it?

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sschoe2

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2011, 05:22:25 AM »

I never said I did pay for my grad degree and that shows how bad your reading comprehension is. However I did pay for undergrad and at most decent universities that is $20k easily.

However, the grad degree is by no means free. There are opportunity costs involved.  $28k per year is on the high end, it could be as low as $10K at some state universities. Instead of languishing in the university for 2 years earning janitor wages for no increase in earnings. Most job positions call for a BS chemist with 2 years experience or an MS for the same pay, get a BS in accounting and start at $40k or go to professional school and make 6 figures even after student loan repayments.

The Ph. D. is no bargain either. There is a huge glut of science Ph. D.'s so most get $35k post-docs for more years of languishing in the university. So you've spent the better part of a decade at the Univ living like a pauper and have poor job prospects to show for it. At this point the median income seems unreachable. It is just astounding to me that anyone would go into science anymore.
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enahs

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2011, 05:32:06 AM »

I never said I did pay for my grad degree and that shows how bad your reading comprehension is. However I did pay for undergrad and at most decent universities that is $20k easily.

You said "Who in their right mind would spend $20k+ on a difficult and time consuming course of study and get a graduate degree"

You said spend $20K+ on graduate degree, it is not about reading comprehension. It is about your lack of communication skills, which is another reason it is hard to get a job.


Degrees != jobs, in ANY field.
Degrees = interviews, that is it. Your knowledge, attitude, persona, communication skills, and unfortunately sometimes even personal appearance is what gets you good jobs. NOT a degree. I am sorry you just do not have what it takes to get a good job in the field of Chemistry. And I am sorry the economy is tuff right now and you are hurting, it sucks.

But if I go right now to Monster.com and look at how many non contract positions that they are seeking good candidates for, well, then the problem is you.

Are you only looking any your immediate area? You chose a field of study, that while very broad, is not done in decent amounts all over. Perhaps you should be willing to move, as well.


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enahs

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Re: Chemistry: terrible profession that ruined my life
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2011, 05:37:35 AM »

Quote
However, the grad degree is by no means free. There are opportunity costs involved.  $28k per year is on the high end, it could be as low as $10K at some state universities. Instead of languishing in the university for 2 years earning janitor wages for no increase in earnings. Most job positions call for a BS chemist with 2 years experience or an MS for the same pay, get a BS in accounting and start at $40k or go to professional school and make 6 figures even after student loan repayments.

The Ph. D. is no bargain either. There is a huge glut of science Ph. D.'s so most get $35k post-docs for more years of languishing in the university. So you've spent the better part of a decade at the Univ living like a pauper and have poor job prospects to show for it. At this point the median income seems unreachable. It is just astounding to me that anyone would go into science anymore.

This is just not all true.
Yes, 28K is on the high end. But you can not just look at actual hard numbers, they are irrelevant. You have to look at the cost of living of the location.


A lot of jobs do call for BS Chemist, yes, because there is A LOT of work out there that does not need highly qualified people. That is how the world works. We need janitors, they are an important part of society.

But to say a BS or MS in chemistry pays the same, is completely ignorant.

As far as what you said about post-docs, well the average "chemistry" post-doc in the US is $47K a year. Much higher then what you claim, or what you claim for the 40K starting accountant, etc.
If you look at post-doc biochemistry, the average is $63K a year.
Materials science, post-docs, which many chemists are qualified for, average at $66K a year, post-doc.
Polymer Chemist average at $44K a year, post-doc
Analytical Chemist average at $55K a year, post-doc.
Organic Chemist average at $52K a year, post-doc.
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