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Submission + - Why Science is a Lousy Career Choice 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "President Obama had a town hall meeting at Facebook’s headquarters last week and said that he wanted to encourage females and minorities to pursue STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) but Pastabagel writes that need for American students to study STEM is one of the tired refrains in modern American politics and that plenty of people already study science. but they don’t work in science. "MIT grads are more likely to end up in the financial industry, where quants and traders are very well compensated, than in the semiconductor industry where the spectre of outsourcing to India and Asia will hang over their heads for their entire career." Philip Greenspun adds that science can be fun, but considered as a career, science suffers by comparison to the professions and the business world. "The average scientist that I encounter expresses bitterness about (a) low pay, (b) not getting enough credit or references to his or her work, (c) not knowing where the next job is coming from, (d) not having enough money or job security to get married and/or have children," writes Greenspun. "Pursuing science as a career seems so irrational that one wonders why any young American would do it.""
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Why Science is a Lousy Career Choice

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  • One big problem is that too many professors of science are narrow, impractical specialists. We have physicists who can't figure out how to make a circuit with a battery and a light bulb. We have computer scientists who can't actually write a program to do anything. They all invent their own jargon for their narrow specialties, so it's difficult for the student to discern the general principles behind the specialized knowledge (but those are what's important). How are such people going to train students to s

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors