Choices----- the other side

Chris Odt chriso at
Tue May 23 11:43:30 EST 2000

In article <39218403.22B840DC at>, sparkz at wrote: a fellow BS scientist, my vote for you is to stay put,
keep your house, keep your life, and maintain the status quo.
There is nothing wrong with that.  I too am a happily employed
"technician", working for the USDA.  I have my own research project,
I am a published author, I manage our annual budget and research and
purchase equipment and supplies as needed, and work with visiting
scientists, grad students and undergrads.  My PI has pushed me through
the federal pay system as far as he is able to.  Yes, if and when
he retires I am in a precarious position.  But, so is he if I choose
to leave!  And I have numerous friends who have been laid off by
private companies! I have been here 11 years.  I left corporate america, where
they were pushing me up the ladder even though I didnt realize it at
the time.  This is way way, better.  Of course my PI left corporate america
for many of the same reasons, so we see eye to eye on many issues.

Life is just fine as a BS Scientist, or Technician, who cares what
our titles are.  I know I could make another $10K - $20K somewhere
els, but then I wouldnt be working 32 hours a week but probably
50 instead, I wouldnt have the opportunity to spend time with my
pre-teen daughter, and I wouldnt have the time for a life, which for me
includes weaving rugs.

Life is good, with out any grad degree.

> Hello.
> I have been reading the thread on choices as regards to career and
> family.   I find the ideas very well articulated.   I thought to put my
> two cents into the discussion.  I have only a B.Sc. degree.  I have
> worked as a technician in a small Research/Production lab on the east
> end of Long Island, NY.    We are affiliated with Cornell University but
> have almost none of the educational opportunities to be found on
> campus.   Over the course of 20 years I have worked in most of the
> positions available at  the Lab until I find myself in a professional
> position of production manager.
>  For years I have had friends and family intimate that I waste my talent
> by not pursuing higher degrees.   Thus prodded, I have investigated the
> options and in every case I have come to  choose my current
> situation.    In my case no children are involved but I do own a home
> and without exception, all choices to further my education would mean
> giving up my house.   The Scientists with hard won Phd's come and go
> from our facility....always maneuvering for a better position.
> Meanwhile, I am exposed to the new ideas and techniques they bring with
> them.   These lessons, along with a benevolent lab director who
> encourages educating even the technicians by exposure to journal
> articles and other published material, gives me the best of both
> worlds....scientific research without the stress of the competition at
> university level and the opportunity to stay close to home.
> Diane Stemnock
> Cornell University
> Duck Research Laboratory

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