Career in the Microbio Sciences

Chris Larosa clarosa at
Tue Feb 15 22:40:58 EST 2000

Jim Hu writes a cute analogy of science to sports.  A few points:   those
who get in the big leagues dont command multimillion dollar salaries, so the
payoff after 6 years of grad school, 2 , 4 or 6 yrs of additional post
docing is much much less.   He acknowledges that some will not make it. Some
dont make it as doctors who go to med schools.  However, the proportions of
those who make it and dont make it are hugely different.  From what Hu
writes, he sounds like an ethical guy perhaps someone you might want to work
for.   But not all professors have the ethical standards in practice that he
professes.  If your going to graduate school you have to be very very
discriminating because the nake PhD system is unregulated,,,unlike the
professional degree system for MDs, DDs, Veterinarians.   There are lots of
interesting and facinating subjects in science to study.... but the number
of real jobs after all that training is very very small.    In cell biology,
biochemistry, plant biology there are about 200 to 300 good applicants and
in the background similar numbers of post docs waiting for their opportunity
who cant apply because the job description is not a perfect fit, they are
not competent, not quite ready.... what have you.
If your contemplating graduate school, afraid,,,be very very afraid.


Jim Hu wrote:

> First, I believe the site mentioned from Art Sowers is:
> Second, the disclaimer.  I'm a Univ Prof with tenure (relatively
> recent), so I realize that my opinions can be discounted as reflecting
> an interest in maintaining the status quo.
> OK....there is a lot of useful information on the Sowers site, and I
> know that all of the bad things that he describes DO happen.  His view
> of funding is somewhat bleak, as federal funding levels for biomedical
> research, as measured by percentiles of grant submissions that get
> f

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