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Old 08-20-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,513 posts, read 4,387,334 times
Reputation: 4521

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zepheyr View Post
Engineers make very good money. Some make a lot of money. Engineers are scientists, no?
No, engineers are like scientists but they are slightly different. Scientists discover and quantify natural laws, engineers make practical devices using the principles discovered by scientists. Many scientists become engineers, or do engineering, because people buy devices but don't generally pay for natural laws. Some engineers make original discoveries about natural laws using the devices that they create.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:15 AM
 
33 posts, read 112,634 times
Reputation: 61
There is absolutely no reason for any American citizen to go into science as a career. The salaries are terrible considering the amount of hard work, dedication and the 10-12 year commitment necessary to become a PHD. And after all those years and sacrifice (and often crippling student debt), you're lucky if you make $50-60k as a researcher. And this is assuming you get a faculty appointment. If you find yourself stuck in the role of post doctoral fellow (which can easily drag on for many years without ever becoming faculty) you'll be earning more like $30-40k (less than high school teachers, junior police officers, and most secretaries). And you've got no job security; if you lab loses funding or has a bad year (happens all the time)... bye bye!

It's ridiculous; the situation is a slap in the face to those few Americans that opted to choose the noble and more difficult path of a career in science. How has this happened, you may ask? Simple: there's an endless supply of highly educated scientists from abroad, which can be brought in on H1B visas and will happily work for peanuts. There are thousands of foreign scientists slaving away in this country on barely livable wages (usually in the $20-30k range).

People complain Americans don't go into science anymore but why should they? As long as this country continues to sh*t on science and reward the lazy fields, the situation will continue.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:17 PM
 
12,407 posts, read 9,261,162 times
Reputation: 8869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxman View Post
There is absolutely no reason for any American citizen to go into science as a career. The salaries are terrible considering the amount of hard work, dedication and the 10-12 year commitment necessary to become a PHD. And after all those years and sacrifice (and often crippling student debt), you're lucky if you make $50-60k as a researcher. And this is assuming you get a faculty appointment. If you find yourself stuck in the role of post doctoral fellow (which can easily drag on for many years without ever becoming faculty) you'll be earning more like $30-40k (less than high school teachers, junior police officers, and most secretaries). And you've got no job security; if you lab loses funding or has a bad year (happens all the time)... bye bye!

It's ridiculous; the situation is a slap in the face to those few Americans that opted to choose the noble and more difficult path of a career in science. How has this happened, you may ask? Simple: there's an endless supply of highly educated scientists from abroad, which can be brought in on H1B visas and will happily work for peanuts. There are thousands of foreign scientists slaving away in this country on barely livable wages (usually in the $20-30k range).

People complain Americans don't go into science anymore but why should they? As long as this country continues to sh*t on science and reward the lazy fields, the situation will continue.
Although I am a physics grad student, I gave up on continuing in academia long ago because it's a waste of time. All they get to do is chase grants, PI's don't do science research much anymore. The grad students do it for free (using TAships to support themselves) often, as I do now. It sucks all around.

I'm looking to move into industry after my Ph.D.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:20 PM
 
12,407 posts, read 9,261,162 times
Reputation: 8869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxman View Post
There is absolutely no reason for any American citizen to go into science as a career. The salaries are terrible considering the amount of hard work, dedication and the 10-12 year commitment necessary to become a PHD. And after all those years and sacrifice (and often crippling student debt), you're lucky if you make $50-60k as a researcher. And this is assuming you get a faculty appointment. If you find yourself stuck in the role of post doctoral fellow (which can easily drag on for many years without ever becoming faculty) you'll be earning more like $30-40k (less than high school teachers, junior police officers, and most secretaries). And you've got no job security; if you lab loses funding or has a bad year (happens all the time)... bye bye!

It's ridiculous; the situation is a slap in the face to those few Americans that opted to choose the noble and more difficult path of a career in science. How has this happened, you may ask? Simple: there's an endless supply of highly educated scientists from abroad, which can be brought in on H1B visas and will happily work for peanuts. There are thousands of foreign scientists slaving away in this country on barely livable wages (usually in the $20-30k range).

People complain Americans don't go into science anymore but why should they? As long as this country continues to sh*t on science and reward the lazy fields, the situation will continue.
Don't forget sequestration cuts. Postdoc positions for 3 years used to be common, now they aren't because every year the grant budget shrinks (adjusted for inflation).
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:25 PM
 
15,811 posts, read 13,250,691 times
Reputation: 19710
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Scientific American current issue has an article discussing how to recruit and educate interested and smart kids into studying science. They seem to recognize that the current teaching methods discourage creative and independent thinking. That aside, I wonder how a student, after a decade or more of studying and incurring substantial debt unless they have really wealthy parents, manages to earn enough to actually make a living as a scientist? Where are the 100k starting jobs? Where are the 250k jobs after a few years? Without these readily available no wonder the kids train to be business managers.

Please comment.
Most scientist have no debt from graduate school. Or maybe I should say they shouldn't, do to the fact that most of us had fellowships, Ta'ed, etc.. So really they are looking at typical undergraduate debt.

Since the average student loan debt is somewhere near $30k, the fact that the average starting salary for most post docs is around 45K still isn't that great, especially for a doctoral degree but that is what you have to do for most tenure track positions. When you get that salaries go up precipitously, average professor salary is 92K for most life science positions. Not too bad, especially with professor hours.

No one goes into science for the money, except maybe pharma people.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:28 PM
 
15,811 posts, read 13,250,691 times
Reputation: 19710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zepheyr View Post
Engineers make very good money. Some make a lot of money. Engineers are scientists, no?
No. The training is different. In theory (I made a punny) scientists discover new things, engineers turn that into something useful. Realistically, they work together on many things.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,513 posts, read 4,387,334 times
Reputation: 4521
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Most scientist have no debt from graduate school. Or maybe I should say they shouldn't, do to the fact that most of us had fellowships, Ta'ed, etc.. So really they are looking at typical undergraduate debt.

Since the average student loan debt is somewhere near $30k, the fact that the average starting salary for most post docs is around 45K still isn't that great, especially for a doctoral degree but that is what you have to do for most tenure track positions. When you get that salaries go up precipitously, average professor salary is 92K for most life science positions. Not too bad, especially with professor hours.

No one goes into science for the money, except maybe pharma people.
Agreed. I don't know any Ph.d in the sciences wasn't on a stipend (i.e. they are paid to be there). The pay isn't great but being a graduate student is essentially a paying job.

And what are these "professor hours" you speak of? Junior faculty pretty much have to work ALL THE TIME and most of the tenured faculty I've known pretty much work constantly, too. One of the reasons I left academia was because I didn't want the 80 hour weeks anymore.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:04 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,353 posts, read 4,956,077 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4g4m
Get any kind of science degree. Declare yourself as a 'climate change' believer, apply for government grants [at least a million dollars] to prove your point. Instant yearly high income.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smommaof3
I was just thinking this as I read the OP. The only way it seems to make money as a scientist is to find a cause (political or private) with a lot of money looking for someone to "prove" they're right.
LOL. These guys are clearly lost. They obviously meant to post on the "Religion and Spirituality" board or someplace where such belief systems are accepted as reality.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:12 PM
 
7,376 posts, read 12,560,186 times
Reputation: 6934
I work in a state lab. Only top management makes over 100k unfortunately Thats about 6 people out of 250. The rest make between 40-70, with supervisors and principals at the top of that scale. Being that its a state job you really only get promoted when someon retires, dies or leaves for another job and even then its competitive.

So I guess if you dont mind making 40-70k for the rest of your life go into biology of chemistry.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:21 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,353 posts, read 4,956,077 times
Reputation: 2547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxman View Post
There is absolutely no reason for any American citizen to go into science as a career. The salaries are terrible considering the amount of hard work, dedication and the 10-12 year commitment necessary to become a PHD. And after all those years and sacrifice (and often crippling student debt), you're lucky if you make $50-60k as a researcher. And this is assuming you get a faculty appointment. If you find yourself stuck in the role of post doctoral fellow (which can easily drag on for many years without ever becoming faculty) you'll be earning more like $30-40k (less than high school teachers, junior police officers, and most secretaries). And you've got no job security; if you lab loses funding or has a bad year (happens all the time)... bye bye!

It's ridiculous; the situation is a slap in the face to those few Americans that opted to choose the noble and more difficult path of a career in science. How has this happened, you may ask? Simple: there's an endless supply of highly educated scientists from abroad, which can be brought in on H1B visas and will happily work for peanuts. There are thousands of foreign scientists slaving away in this country on barely livable wages (usually in the $20-30k range).

People complain Americans don't go into science anymore but why should they? As long as this country continues to sh*t on science and reward the lazy fields, the situation will continue.
This whole thread is full of nonsense, and this one just this adds insult to injury. First, it suggests that the most probable scientific career path is academia, which is certainly not the case. Industry employs many 10's of thousands more scientists.

Then there are the reasons to study science in the first place. As VP for R&D at a huge multinational chemical (ret.), I knew hundreds of scientists all over the US and the world. And I can tell you that nobody goes into science or R&D that doesn't love it for its own sake. It takes too much work. No, you're not necessarily going to make 6 figures (though many will), but you're using your mind. How many people can say that?

And despite layoffs, restructuring, foreign slave labor, yada yada, I'm hard pressed to think any colleague in the industry that has not been able to make a good career of it IF they're willing to move. It's not even remotely in the same category as english lit or philosophy majors. But I'll say this - anybody that's a serious contender for a career in science requiring more than a B.S. (i.e., more than a lab technician) isn't reading CD for career advice.
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