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Oversupply of Ph.D.s in Canada?

Arthur Sowers arthures at magpage.com
Wed Jan 12 09:25:05 EST 2000

On 12 Jan 2000, Placid Ol' Dingo wrote:

> Mr. M.J. Lush <mlush at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk> wrote:
> > Doing a PhD is as vocation not a career choice.
> Incorrect. Doing science is a vocation, doing a Ph.D. is a career
> choice. A bad career choice in some cases, no doubt, but a career choice
> nonetheless.

Incorrect AND badly stated. A PhD is AWARDED after completion of a program
involving classes and a research project which is entered after acceptance
to that program which takes place after application is made to that
program AND that application is accepted. 

Doing science, for 99.999% of all science PhD requires a _position_ (i.e.
a job) which is accompanied by _space & facilities_ AND some kind of
salary, stipend, or compensation. Doing science usually means publication
and/or aquiring or analysis of data, etc. 

Its a bad career choice if age discrimination, politics of the culture,
changes and evolution of what is important lead to layoffs or turnover. It
has been my interest over the years to try to make people aware of some of
these factors (on my websites) and ask if they really want to "pursue"
(for as long as it lasts) a career in science. My "career half-life"
essays are based on both my own studies and references to other sources. 

I also think scientists need a "union-like" organization, similar to the
AMA for MDs, to look into the situations of those who are in a profession
that typically needs (for academic and some industrial careers) about ten
years of ones life in grad school plus a postdoc BEFORE one can really say
they have begun a career.

  Arthur E. Sowers, PhD
| Science career information websites:  |
| http://freeshell.org/~advocacy        |
| http://www.magpage.com/~arthures      |

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