Career in the Microbio Sciences

Arthur Sowers arthures at magpage.com
Fri Feb 18 15:17:33 EST 2000


email and post...

On Fri, 18 Feb 2000, wayne conlan wrote:

> 
> 
> Jim Hu wrote:
> 
> > Matt,
> >
> > If you've followed this thread, you know that I'm somewhat more optimistic
> > than most of the posters.
> > Specifically regarding microbiology, however, there are some reasons for a
> > little more hope than a lot of other life sci careers.
> >
> 
> (lots of pertinent stuff snipped by this respondent)
> 
> Hi Jim:
>         I'm afraid I have to disagree with your opinion on this.  Microbiology
> PhDs are ten a penny right now.  The American Society for Microbiology  released a
> study last year that painted a pretty bleak picture.  It found that the median
> starting salary for a 1997 PhD in microbiology was $29000 (the figure for chemists
> was $65000).  Personally, I can't see demand outstripping supply any time soon. Of
> course, if you're an exceptional individual, you'll probably do well whatever your
> chosen career.  I'd still advise a MD/PhD or DVM/PhD path, for the reasons several
> others have stated on this thread.
> 
> 
> Regards,
> 
> 
> Wayne.
> 
> 
> 

I'm with you, Wayne. The only way to look at the job market is to consider
data such as the following:

For a pool of N applicants, what is the min, max, and average for the
following questions:

1. Number of applicants per job
2. Number of days (or should I say years?) between award of PhD and the
receipt of one good job offer.
3. Number of interviews per X hundred applicacations
4. Number of job offers per Z interviews
5. Are there any jobs our there that have zero applicants?
6. Number of years (on postdocs) before some PhDs end up in taxi driver
jobs, grocery packing clerk jobs, school bus driver jobs, etc., and end up
there for the rest of their lives. 

These data dont exist, but one can surmise from rumors, gossip, and
talking around that the rosy outcomes are not common.

  Arthur E. Sowers, PhD
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