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Comment: Re:good news for bio grads (Score 1) 451

by Tim (#21564121) Attached to: $999 For a Complete DNA Scan, Worth it?
Don't kid yourself -- there's a huge over-supply of graduate-level biologists with mathematical and computational training. The problem has nothing to do with the "softness" of the discipline, but rather, with the fact that academia pumps out doctorates at rates that can't be supported by industry.

Moreover, the button-pushers of the biology world are actually in a sweet spot, with regard to supply and demand. It's generally quite easy to obtain lab tech work with a BS (or even an AA). With one of these jobs, you'll live comfortably, work normal hours, and though you'll likely never lead a project, you'll earn respect and authority over time. An MS will bump you to a slightly higher salary, but it's questionable whether the gain is worth the opportunity cost (lost income, mainly).

By contrast, a PhD will leave you largely unemployable. You won't even be considered for most "PhD-level" positions, until you've completed an additional 2-4 years of post-doctoral "training", on top of the 5-7 years it takes to get the degree. And ironically, you won't even be able to get the lab tech work that you could have found with a BS/MS, because it is perceived as a "waste of talent" to put a PhD in a tech position, and most companies are fearful that you'll leave for greener pastures at the first opportunity (to be fair, this is probably true).

The OP is correct: if you're intelligent, and you're concerned about income, the biological sciences are a terrible place to be. Computer science is much more lucrative -- as are law, medicine, business and engineering. The perception that bio-tech is a job generator is largely a function of industry propaganda, and does not stand up to even casual scrutiny.

If you doubt me, go to the Science Magazine Careers Forum, and check out the number of truly sad stories in the field....

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman