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Unread 05-20-2010, 02:33 PM
491 posts, read 699,877 times
Reputation: 158
Default What can you do w/ a general science degree?

is this the kind of major you can do while holding down a full time job? or should i choose something w/ a lighter workload.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 02:45 PM
141 posts, read 282,081 times
Reputation: 126
You can be a lab peon and earn $12 an hour with no benefits. A science degree is a very poor investment. Unless you plan on using it to get into a professional school med, pharm, dentistry, physical therapy it is not worth the effort or cost in tuition and lost income. See the thread what jobs pay 50k without a specific major.

Pick something that directly trains you for a reasonably paying career. Do accounting, economics, learn a vocation like plumbing or welding.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 04:02 PM
Location: 20 years from now
3,606 posts, read 2,289,894 times
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I agree with the 1st person, but keep in mind that with the exception of a few degrees out there, most likely you'll need an advanced degree to be taken seriously for a reasonably well paying job.

But the value of a general science degree wheter it's for grad school or a job will be heavily determined by what classes you actually took.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 04:38 PM
4,809 posts, read 10,182,860 times
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you go to grad school.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 05:48 PM
207 posts, read 432,542 times
Reputation: 315
You should really take a look at the "What jobs pay 50k and don't need a specific major?" thread. I believe that guy was talking about trying to find a decent paying position with a chemistry degree, and was having quite a hard time.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 07:03 PM
Location: Chicago area
3,342 posts, read 3,416,510 times
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I have an MS in chemistry and can't get a reasonable job in science with benefits. With just a bachelor's degree, forget it. Might as well get any half decent blue collar job. They will treat you better.

From what I gather there are a few hub areas in CA MA NJ and NC where scientists are in demand but most of the country you will be a lab serf with very poor prospects and even in the hubs you will likely need an MS for even a chance at decent jobs. Overall, I do not recommend it.

Last edited by MSchemist80; 05-20-2010 at 07:20 PM..
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Unread 05-20-2010, 07:27 PM
Location: western Colorado, hoping to move to PA
50 posts, read 74,092 times
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My husband originally planned to go to med school--he got a Biology degree with a chemistry minor. Due to a bad marriage he was not able to go to med school, so for the first couple of years he worked as a van driver for a nursing home. Then he was able to find a job in a lab doing quality control for a rubber manufacturing company, and from there moved on to mine safety/gas chromatography. He has never, ever used his biology degree. It crossed his mind at one point but most of the biology job posting we've seen have had very specific educational requirements, though, such as "at least 3 credit hours in zoology, at least 6 credit hours in calculus" or whatever.

The chemistry minor has come in extremely useful and even though he does not have a major in chemistry, he has the knowledge to be able to work in a lab. A degree will only get you so far--if you understand the principles and process that you need to understand to do the job, that's the most important thing. I also think he has been fairly lucky because I know other people who have gotten science degrees and never been able to score a job past that "van driver at a nursing home" phase.
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Unread 05-20-2010, 10:22 PM
3,425 posts, read 5,676,943 times
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Adding a CLS (medical technologist) certification program on top of the degree (or instead of - there are also BS in CLS programs) might be more helpful in finding a job.

CLS is clinical lab sciences - as in blood banking, urinalysis, microbiology, hematology, etc... The pay is not awesome but its respectable and probably better than what the average person with a BS in Bio or Chem could get.
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Unread 05-21-2010, 06:50 AM
141 posts, read 282,081 times
Reputation: 126
You might as well get a nursing degree BSN. Nurses are paid 50% higher and there are paths for advancement such as clinical research or working for pharma.

MT's (medical technologists aka clinical lab scientists) are basically better paid lab serfs. Their salaries are in the 50k's. However they are most vulnerable to hospital cuts or being replaced by cheaper MLT's techs. Check some other forums. Most do not recommend it.
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Unread 05-21-2010, 09:48 PM
18,355 posts, read 10,252,006 times
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It really depends on you, as with any other major. Working F/T while doing an undergrad is tough and it seems like it may be even tougher as a science major. Maybe that depends, tho. If you have a real aptitude for the sciences it might be a breeze for you. I don't mean to cast sunshine on the cloudy pity parade for disgruntled scientists, butI got a couple of science degrees and was able to walk out of school and walk into a promising career with good pay. But, it wasn't only because of the degree. It was due to extracurricular efforts while in school.
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