Chemjobs roundtable roundup
Dec17

Chemjobs roundtable roundup

Chemjobber has put up a recap of the week's bloggings from our chemjobs roundtable. Thanks to everyone for participating! It was a lovely discussion. And since I just can't resist data, here's one more chart I though you might find interesting. The NSF also publishes an ongoing total of number of PhDs awarded by subdiscipline. Here it is from 1960 to 1999. Sorry for the...

Read More
Too many PhDs? That’s anybody’s guess.
Dec14

Too many PhDs? That’s anybody’s guess.

And thank you for kicking things off, Chemjobber! Remember, tomorrow we go to Paul for why tenure is teh suck, and Thursday the Mighty Matt enlightens us on what science policy can do to help us fix the employment mess. So in yesterday’s post, CJ talked about the present and future of industrial jobs in chemistry. “Chemists are facing lower-than-average hiring and an unemployment rate that is the highest in 20 years at 3.9% (according to the 2009/2010 ACS Salary Survey),” CJ said. And it came up in the comments, like it always does: how much of this can be blamed on new PhDs coming into the marketplace? Are we really overproducing chemistry PhDs? Fortunately, the numbers of doctorates produced each year in many fields of study are tracked by the NSF, who puts out a short report in November and a longer one in December. The most recent one says that in 2009, there were 49,562 doctorates awarded in the United States in all science and engineering fields. That’s up 1.6% over 2008, an increase that’s almost totally due to a rise in women getting these degrees. This is pretty much irrelevant to this discussion, but I thought it was interesting. Moving on. The NSF breaks down these numbers into separate fields of study. And look, I took their data and made graphs! As you can see, the number has fluctuated a bit over the last ten years, but the general trend has been up. Last year, there were 2,398 PhDs awarded in chemistry and 859 in biochemistry. The chemistry number is up 6.2% from 2008 (2,247), while the number of new biochemists is down 4.5% from the year before (898). There was a small spike of chemistry PhDs awarded in 2006 (2,362), and biochemists seem to have maxed out (minimally) last year. Overall, the number of fresh new chemists has grown 11.0% since 1999 (2,132) and biochemists are 11.6% more popular than they were ten years ago (759). So, what does this mean? Well, that there are more chemists now than there were 10 years ago, but I think we could have all guessed that. The real question is, how many jobs have there been available in since 1999? There’s a problem with that question. Namely, that there isn’t an answer to it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2008, chemists held 84,300 jobs. But that’s all chemists, BSs, MSs and PhDs together. Besides, that’s people holding jobs. How many chemistry jobs open up each year? We know that CJ tracks the ads in C&E News, but of course not everyone advertises there. And not...

Read More
The future of jobs in chemistry
Dec10

The future of jobs in chemistry

Next week, be prepared to witness the chemistry blog event of the century! Well, maybe not the century, but it should be pretty good. Starting Monday, Chemjobber, ChemBark, ScienceGeist and I are going to hold a blog roundtable about the future of jobs in chemistry. On Monday, Chemjobber will discuss Beryl Lieff Benderly's "The Real Science Gap" and add his own opinions on the future of the job market in industry. .Tuesday, I'll will be jawing on the numbers from the NSF's recent doctoral report to try to answer the question "Are there too many PhDs being awarded in chemistry?" Wednesday, Paul at ChemBark will talk about tenure and why it's not a good system. Thursday, Matt at ScienceGeist will delve into government's role in science employment. And then on Friday, back to Chemjobber who will summarize the week's discussions and comments. Read! Comment! Be astounded! Tell us we're stupid! Whatever, just participate. The best discussions have people talking, after all. See you next...

Read More