OK, what do you want? was....Re: Still "another" and possibly "better" job/career path....

Brian Moore moore at onsager.bd.psu.edu
Wed Feb 21 08:53:46 EST 2001

In article <96vvmb$8ev$0 at>,
Arthur Sowers  <arthures at magpage.com> wrote:
>I responded to Brian's comments in a post earlier today...now I have an
>additional set of comments...below...

Art, your comments are well-taken (though I do think your view of
some non-research careers, like teaching, are a bit overly dim),
but my point was pointing people to fire-fighting is not necessarily
any help.  I've known of people who've languished in dead-end jobs 
in a town for a long time in an extended pursuit to try for one
of these firefighter positions, and not made it.  Plus, a field
like firefighting is not exactly a good one for a midlife
career change.

A better example for me is my brother, who didn't go to college and
has worked as a longshoreman all his life.  He gets paid well, and
has been able to stay in one spot.  But even looking at good
jobs like this, there are a lot of pitfalls.  For one, his is
a union job, which is one of the reasons it pays so well.  Any
union job is always at risk of having the union get busted.
The longshoremen have threaded that needle fairly well, but they've
had to accept concessions little by little over time.  Consequently,
there are almost no opportunities for new people to get into
the good "A" and "B" categories now.

So everybody takes risks.  The key is to know your risks going in.
I DO think that still not enough students entering graduate school
in the sciences know the risks well enough.  But some do, and 
most eventually learn the truth and some decide to keep plugging
at it.


Brian G. Moore, School of Science, Penn State Erie--The Behrend College
bgm4 at psu.edu , (814)-898-6334

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