arrow8 Comments
  1. Dave Hafner
    May 08 - 4:24 pm

    It’s kind of disheartening to hear the ‘overqualified’ excuse. It’s really hard to become ‘less qualified’. I can’t see that as being much of a goal.

    The ‘more’ qualified people are typically the problem solvers, the facilitators, the technical backstops who support the efforts of others. These are the people who can raise the game of those around them.

    For me, I always strive to surround myself with the sharpest, most qualified people I can find.

    But that’s just plain overqualified me.

  2. Glen Ernst
    May 13 - 4:37 pm

    Couldn’t agree more — hopefully your opinion will become more prevalent, and start driving the job market.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. [...] jobs for MS/BS-level scientists than for PhDs. Unemployed PhD scientists commonly find they are overqualified for many of the jobs out [...]

  4. over-what-now? nevermind.
    Aug 13 - 12:07 pm

    [strikeout]If[/strikeout] WHEN this truly does happen. You probably are better off not working there anyways. I ran into this during my job search after undergrad, and I have to say I would be hating life right now if some of those places I applied to hired me.

  5. Dangerous Bill
    Aug 13 - 5:02 pm

    ‘Overqualified’ is a code word, meaning all or some of:

    1. We don’t want geezers around here. They fart to much and tell too many ‘Back in my day…’ stories.

    2. You may threaten our managers, the oldest of whom is 32.

    3. You’ve only got ten years left and then you’ll retire. Never mind that most employees are only seven years in their jobs.

    4. You’re harder to mislead or lie to.

    5. You likely don’t have a dependent family to feed, so you won’t be sufficiently frightened/obsequious/desperate.

    6. You might die in your chair before a long weekend, and the place will stink by Tuesday.

    Dangerous Bill

  6. JG
    Sep 17 - 9:25 pm

    The reason why “overqualified” is problematic is that there is a historical (for managers who’ve been around the block) experience that folks who are overqualified tend to 1) be bored easily, leave and thus waste invested costs in the employee, 2) expect commensurate salary and raise schedules beyond and regardless of the original scope of the job description and budget, and 3) PhDs tend to have entitlement issues due to their degree that often makes them not be team players thus disrupting teams and interfering with project success.

    Are there exceptions? Thankfully yes, but it takes extra management experience and effort to figure out which candidates they are. And the exceptions are pure gold. However those who are not tend to net negative ROI from the get go, and most managers can’t or won’t seek those needles in the haystack.

    Again, it’s sad but this is the “why” of it.

  7. Reznik
    Sep 18 - 5:31 am

    It’s a difficult argument to make – I was hired out of my PhD to do an entry level job in my field. However, I did the best job that I could do, and brought a level of technical sophistication to the role – I pursued research questions in my own time and published papers with the company’s approval.

    However, now our team is chock full of PhDs, and we need engineers that are willing to fulfill a role without getting dissatisfied. I’ve had a few candidates from the Uni approach us for jobs, but it’s obvious from their questions that they want a pure research job in industry, with no development. I don’t really want to hire someone like that… I need people who understand that things need to get done. When we’re crunched for time, even the director of our group will box up shipments.

  8. [...] network and use their talents more broadly. However, I think this overlooks the crucial role of the will of the employer to be less risk-averse, not just the prospective employee. Perhaps this is an area where the influence of the ACS Board of [...]

Mobile Theme