Careers in Microbiology\

dahd dahd at xxnodspam.com
Fri Oct 9 09:40:03 EST 1998


In article 
<Pine.LNX.3.96.981009084525.30273B-100000 at pgstumail.pg.cc.md.us>, 
kr1 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US says...
>
>I've been reading this current line of discussion, and it sounds
>extremely depressing.  While still working on my Ph.D. I had a class
>with a professor who had taken many postdoc positions before finally
>landing his university job, and the bitterness associated with that
>experience was very evident.  He admonished all of us not to complete
>our degrees, but to instead actively pursue positions in areas outside
>of academia. (stuff deleted)
 After all,
>many of the students at these smaller, often unfairly maligned 
>institutions go on to universities, while others enter careers in the
>health professions and other areas which directly impact the well-being
>of all of us.  Considering enlightened self-interest, don't we owe it 
to 
>ourselves and them to see to it that they are capable when they leave 
us? 

To this point you are right ON!  :)

>After all, most of them will make more than we do, and some may treat
>US in the future. 

Right here is where we would diverge in our opinions.  Something is
wrong when folks with Associate degrees in a health care area will
be able to make as much, if not more money, than the Prof. who stayed
in school for years and endured the postdoc track.

 Without college students, higher education ceases to
>exist.  The experience a young professor will get teaching at a smaller
>institution will only enhance his or her skills 

Agreed!

and make the likelihood
>of landing the dream job a bit more probable.

I think the last statement-- that teaching in a small college enhances
upward mobility within the academic world is off.

When I was a grad student in the 60s, one of our Profs. would invite
the senior grad students to his home on a monthly basis for 
commaraderie (hope I spelled that somewhere near right) and discussions
of things about being a professional microbiologist that were outside
of the course work structure.  

We read and discussed a book of the time, The Academic Marketplace.
The author of that book pointed out that there tends to be a downward
movement-- that is, graduates of the IVY schools get jobs at  schools
on the next lower tier or two.  Graduates of the State schools tend
to move down in to other state schools with slightly lower reputations
or to the private competitive colleges; thence on down toward the
Junior College Level.

Movement, job advancement in the opposite direction is difficult as
one is swimming against the tide.  It can happen, of course. Nothing
is absolute, but the overall trend is top to bottom.

One advantage (there is always a silver lining somewhere) of the
long standing overproduction of PhDs is that community colleges can
now attract well qualified personnel, whereas they once had to recruit
from the HS -teacher community.

Again, I refer one and all to the discussions on sci.research.careers.




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