Today: Solutions to the “Doctoral Glut Dilemma”

Don't say ACS have their heads in the sand. A webinar this afternoon will face head-on the reality of training to be a doctoral-level chemist in today's job market.
 Is higher education producing more doctoral scientists than the market can absorb? With the attendance rates at graduate schools increasing, has the private sector’s growth been able to keep up and will there be enough options for tomorrow’s PhDs?   Join our two experts Richard Freeman and Paula Stephan as they share their viewpoints on the state of higher education, the economy and how industry and academia can better prepare current and future graduates.
I'm not privy to any other advance information than what's on the ACS Webinars™ website but others I've viewed have been top-quality. I obviously encourage viewing by current doctoral trainees in chemistry and postdocs. Giving yourself a competitive edge in this market is information anyone can use. But I particularly urge undergrads currently interviewing for chemistry doctoral programs to tune in. One of the four primary discussion topics will be assessing graduate programs for their ultimate employment record of their trainees. Take advantage of what your professional society is offering. Details: Doctoral Glut Dilemma: Are There Solutions? Date: Thursday November 8, 2012 (TODAY!) Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET Fee: Free  

Author: David Kroll

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  1. What interests me most is whether current or prospective grad students will change their plans if the overall message from this webinar is negative (which I suspect it is). I can almost guarantee the answer is no.

    • Change their plans to what? Once you have gone that far, there often isn’t much of a better option than to continue. Though I would say the few of my fellow grad students that quit and went to pharmacy or med school (if you can get in) made the right decision. By far, my college friends with the most stable, highest paying jobs are doctors, dentists, or pharmacists. We are in our mid to late thirties now.

      Those of us that stuck it out in science have had unstable jobs coupled with lower pay. Law is even worse unless you are elite. Finance and consulting are still shedding jobs as well. Saying they should escape is one thing. But telling them where they could go is another.

  2. I understand the sentiment Chad, and I fell victim to it myself. However, I don’t find it to be proper justification. If everybody is saying the market for PhDs is terrible and that the jobs are leaving the country, then why is it better to finish your degree? Just because you can’t think of another option?

    I knew someone who left their PhD just a few months shy of finishing and took an MS instead. I was convinced this person was dumb and would languish on the job market having to explain why it took so long to get an MS. None of that happened, the individual got a job quickly, has been employed for several years and is happier now than ever because they can make time for personal hobbies and trips to other countries. Yes there are better options than finishing your PhD. People are too damn stubborn to consider them.