Sunday, July 08, 2012

Washington Post says there are no science jobs, but...

The Washington Post has an article today about job prospects for scientists. The article, U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there, tries to paint a doom and gloom picture of the job prospects for scientists. It points to neuroscience and pharmaceuticals as places that are no longer hiring PhD's and that
it’s questionable whether those youths will be able to find work when they get a PhD. Although jobs in some high-tech areas, especially computer and petroleum engineering, seem to be booming, the market is much tighter for lab-bound scientists — those seeking new discoveries in biology, chemistry and medicine.
Sounds pretty nasty out there, doesn't it? Buried on page two is, however, the key point:
Two groups seem to be doing better than other scientists: physicists and physicians. The unemployment rate among those two groups hovers around 1 to 2 percent, according to surveys from NSF and other groups. Physicists end up working in many technical fields — and some go to Wall Street — while the demand for doctors continues to climb as the U.S. population grows and ages.

Catch that? 1 -2% unemployment for physicists and physicians.  In an economic downturn with overall unemployment of 8.2%? This would be great news in any kind of economy.

So in case you were wondering why an undergraduate degree in physics is the place to start your medical career, this is the reason. Not only is physics a great career choice, it is an ideal "plan B" for charting a path to medical school. What happens if you don't get into medical school? Only good things if you have a physics degree. An undergraduate degree in physics puts you in a place to get a good paying technical job or pursue graduate work for an even higher paying job. And it looks like your chances of finding that good paying job are 98-99%.

Physics. Still the best deal in town.