Science graduates 'lack skills needed by business' Watch

Aramiss18
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#81
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#81
(Original post by Kolya)
Here's a crazy thought: if they've got a problem, perhaps businesses should provide training to give their employees the skills required.
That's just crazy talk!! It's not the role of businesses to train their employees!!
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No Man
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(Original post by dmccririck)
I am going to study biochemistry at Sheffield university, and have a real passion for the subject... reading this thread and the article has really got me down worrying about what my future holds for me.
http://www.findaphd.com/search/phd.aspx?DID=3&SAID=37

(Original post by babyjustin)
30000 is a good salary particularly for a graduate but what I meant was that scientists can't surpass it at the height of their career whereas lorry drivers are earning 40000+ and even threatened to go on strike.
They can at senior level.
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Aramiss18
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(Original post by Llamageddon)
This is probably the best post I've seen on the subject.

There are tons of people capable of working in science that are unwilling to do it. I personally have a first from UCL, a distinction in my masters and work as a research assistant. I have absolutely no intention of doing a phd and every intention of leaving science for a more rewarding career elsewhere when appropriate. Why? Pay is OK but not when you consider my hours and educational background. Stability is rubbish. I'm one lost grant away from redundancy at all times. You can't get a mortgage on that.

People who would otherwise be good scientists are instead attracted to vocational healthcare degrees, engineering, economics and so on. Many science graduates leave the discipline for greener pastures. A lot of talent is lost because science careers simply don't offer the working conditions, pay, job security and dare I say it job satisfaction of many of the alternatives.

This turned into a bit of a rant so probably doesn't make sense.
The bold is definitely true-my current supervisor said continuously applying for funding is like continuously filling out job applications. Dire.

Has anyone here looked at taking their qualifications abroad and seeing if they have better luck? The gf and I will each have masters degrees in Chem this time next year so thinking about it.
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goape
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(Original post by Kolya)
Here's a crazy thought: if they've got a problem, perhaps businesses should provide training to give their employees the skills required.
a) Not necessarily quick and easy to train for
b) If it is profitable for that training to be provided, logic suggests it will be provided.
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NB_ide
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(Original post by No Man)
I'm guessing you said that for trolling reasons then.
Yes it was to mock your adorable and innocent perspective on how easy/likely/possible it is to succeed in business.
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Slumpy
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(Original post by goape)
a) Not necessarily quick and easy to train for
b) If it is profitable for that training to be provided, logic suggests it will be provided.
If it's profitable, logic suggests it will be provided. But if it's profitable, logic suggests it's even more profitable to get someone else to pay for the training, but still reap the rewards.
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No Man
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(Original post by NB_ide)
Yes it was to mock your adorable and innocent perspective on how easy/likely/possible it is to succeed in business.
Except I never said it was easy/likely/possible to succeed in business. You're barking up the wrong tree.
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babyjustin
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#88
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(Original post by NB_ide)
30k is a ****ing ****load and most people will never reach that kind of level in their entire working lives.
Average salary in the UK is 26900. Graduates should be a lot higher than those who dont go to university and higher still for people who do a very important degree (in the STEM area).

Why should science graduates be paid less than
truck drivers - 45000
salesperson - 40000
Trader in city - 50000
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User237126
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Maybe this is naive of me, but why would this be a problem for science graduates? I mean they wanna work in science right, that's why they do such technical degrees?
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Slumpy
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(Original post by babyjustin)
Average salary in the UK is 26900. Graduates should be a lot higher than those who dont go to university and higher still for people who do a very important degree (in the STEM area).

Why should science graduates be paid less than
truck drivers - 45000
salesperson - 40000
Trader in city - 50000
Depending on what you're classing as trading, a fair whack of those people will be science grads. And I think you're wildly underestimating their pay.
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babyjustin
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(Original post by Sean9001)
You have to be from another planet to call £30,000 an extremely low salary. £15k between a mother and son makes for perfectly comfortable living.
15k if you dont have a mortgage and inherit a lot of money (sorry this is probably not true but I am just stereotyping). Furthermore 15k would be a terrible salary if you had a husband and wife and 3 kids to support and you have just crashed the car.
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Jimbo1234
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(Original post by babyjustin)
Here is the article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18957712

Science graduates seem to be completely undervalued in our society yet they are an essential part of our economy. They are underpaid and underused leaving many unemployed.
As a future science graduate I am quite frightened for what the future holds in employment - I don't think this is just because of the financial crisis it is endemic in the science industry.

Thoughts and opinions please.

EDIT: Worryingly there is only 1 member of parliament with a scientific background and over 150 with a background in law. This really shows up how unrepresentative our MPs really are.
Yeah, this country is a dump and due to the lack of industry science graduates either get ****ty jobs with a pay that is utterly disproportional to how many people can do their job or go abroad to somewhere which can pay fair wages.
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babyjustin
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(Original post by Jimbo1234)
Yeah, this country is a dump and due to the lack of industry science graduates either get ****ty jobs with a pay that is utterly disproportional to how many people can do their job or go abroad to somewhere which can pay fair wages.
Now, just have to choose between America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
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Jimbo1234
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(Original post by babyjustin)
Now, just have to choose between America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
Amen to that
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Llamageddon
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(Original post by Aramiss18)
The bold is definitely true-my current supervisor said continuously applying for funding is like continuously filling out job applications. Dire.

Has anyone here looked at taking their qualifications abroad and seeing if they have better luck? The gf and I will each have masters degrees in Chem this time next year so thinking about it.
It's pretty bad. You also get 0.5 - 3 year contracts. Tbh it's better in the UK than the rest of Europe however you may get better luck in the states. It shouldn't be so bad as a chemistry graduate though as us biologists are 10 a penny.
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Llamageddon
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(Original post by BO'H)
sure, after you have calculated the number of the STEM graduates who made a direct contribution to those developments as a proportion of every STEM graduate in the world since 1950
I'm sorry but you clearly don't understand how science works. A single breakthrough is not an individual spark of genius but more multiple teams building up knowledge of the subject, years of collaboration, multi-disciplinary progress and much more. One person may win the nobel prize but the cliche "on the shoulders of giants" is as true in science today as it has ever been.
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WillowLeaves
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(Original post by babyjustin)
EDIT: Worryingly there is only 1 member of parliament with a scientific background and over 150 with a background in law. This really shows up how unrepresentative our MPs really are.
I'm not sure I understand what this has to do with your original question. First of all, how is it the Parliament's problem what skills business recruiters find important and who has them? Secondly, what constitutes a "representative" MP? Surely the MPs can't be expected to mirror the exact state of the UK population - for one thing, there are no MPs who are unemployed or full-time mothers as indeed there can never be. Seeing as the Parliament is the body that debates and passes a lot of our legislation, one would expect most of the MPs to have a background in law rather than biology or programming.
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Xotol
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(Original post by babyjustin)
Average salary in the UK is 26900. Graduates should be a lot higher than those who dont go to university and higher still for people who do a very important degree (in the STEM area).

Why should science graduates be paid less than
truck drivers - 45000
salesperson - 40000
Trader in city - 50000
These are awfully vague figures. Are you referring to average or highest paid in each field? And what would encompass a 'salesperson' or 'trader' - there are many different types of sales people and traders that have different roles and therefore earn different amounts of money.

Also, it's worth noting that the distribution for truck drivers salaries is a lot different. And, from what I can find, the average salary is around £25k, not £45k. For science graduates (I just looked at biochemists for the moment), there's a bigger range of salaries offerring more money (i.e. above £50k and £60k) with, I assume, more experience and credential. For a truck driver in the Uk, you rarely get more than £30k.
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NB_ide
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(Original post by babyjustin)
Average salary in the UK is 26900. Graduates should be a lot higher than those who dont go to university
Why, how does that work? You think going to uni for three+ years automatically makes a person more valuable/experienced than working for three+ years in the real world? Because they tried so hard and all that work for several hours per week, 20 weeks per year, was really tough and character-building?

Why should science graduates be paid less than
truck drivers - 45000
salesperson - 40000
Trader in city - 50000
This is a ridiculous question:

1) Those figures are plucked from thin air, I know "truck drivers" on 15k and "traders in the city" on many £100k's. Strange examples.

2) "Science graduate" is not a job.

3) There is no particular reason why a science graduate should, or should not, be paid more, or less, than any of those three types of people. It's all down to the individual and what he can trick people into paying him. As it is today, what a typical science graduate can offer is common as dirt and not very valuable to most employers, hence they are not paid very well at all if they try to stay in science. Boo hoo.
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Observatory
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Interesting thread - I've certainly noticed that while a typical median engineer salary in the US seems to be around ~$70k, an experienced engineer who wants to work directly in engineering rather than management is looking at £20s or low £30s here. Not much of a return given the difficulty of the courses and the comparatively few people who can do maths.

A few points, though:

1. Things are not better for other graduates. What does a history or psychology degree lead to? Directly related jobs in those fields are extremely rare - at least an engineering graduate stands a pretty high chance of being able to work as an engineer if he wants - and graduates in those subjects are even more common. The only good jobs these people are eligible for are middle management graduate schemes, and those are not humanities-specific; they could equally well be done be a science or engineering graduate.

2. For those middle management, sales, etc. roles university skills are irrelevant. University ensures you have the right social background and are decently intelligent and hard working, but mostly it is down to your personality and work experience. So it doesn't stand to reason that if you can't do it as a science graduate that you would have had any more luck with a different degree.

3. Forcing everyone to learn maths is a goddamn waste of time and an utterly counterproductive idea. The problem is that the small upper part of the maths aptitude distribution that currently takes it isn't learning enough maths. Not that there aren't enough mediocre candidates getting Cs and Ds. All that will do is cause the required material to be dumbed down further so that the new students can cope, and introduce more disruptive students and 'mixed ability teaching' that will reduce the quality of teaching even further. In this instance the elitist approach is the correct one: the contributions to society from mathematics come from making the top few percent of practioners as good as possible, not from mass educaiton.

4. It doesn't surprise me that most biologists don't learn maths, because biology is not a particularly mathematical subject. The only course I can think they would need from the A level is stats, which is surely better taught in the first year at university than bundled with a lot of irrelevant calculus.

5. Academia is not a particularly viable career path but bear in mind that academia is not really a business. It doesn't have a huge amount of economic value and is supported mostly by state subsidy. More people want to do academia and are willing to put up with the terrible conditions for the sake of interest than there are places available, so you shouldn't expect to be paid commensurate to your skills, education time, rarity of other candidates, etc. Rather you should be glad you actually get a stipend rather than having to work as a teaching assistant like they do in the US.

e:
(Original post by Slumpy)
If it's profitable, logic suggests it will be provided. But if it's profitable, logic suggests it's even more profitable to get someone else to pay for the training, but still reap the rewards.
I think this is the root of the problem, and suggests the university system is a blind alley that is fundamentally broken. Essentially the government has nationalised job training, with the result that people spend a very long time and a lot of money learning things that employers apparently don't want, and not a lot of what they do. But it's not in their interest to provide training themselves because the government training, while socially very expensive, is completely free to them at the point of use.

That's why degrees like golf course management exist. Not because you need to study for 3 years to run a golf course, or because that is a more effective use of your time than just working at one for 3 years, but because it's cheaper for the owner if you/SLC/the government to pay for a 3 year degree than if they send some good employee they already have on a 6 month course.
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