Thursday, January 05, 2017

Why You NEVER Major in Biology

Or "bio" anything!

And YES I'm aware it's part time.  Yippee, $40,000 a year for a Masters!


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is why student visas and foreign students are so important now to American universities. They survive from those desperate third world strivers. But I'd like to hear more about what things are like now for "college prep" high schools, and what the expectations are for their students.

Anonymous said...

This is a university job. They tend to pay a lot less. I'm curious what regional for-profit businesses pay.

("for-profit business" -- I shouldn't feel the need for redundancy, but that's modernity for you)

kurt9 said...

Yes, and the job location, south waterfront area, is in the most expensive part of Portland, which means you have to commute in horrible traffic each day.

Cecil Henry said...

Please tell me this is 2 days per month!! Otherwise how can they expect an MD or Master's degree to even take this??? Insane

Jim Scrummy said...

Friend of mine has a BS in Biomedical Engineering (lots of EE and ME classes). He makes a nice salary with bonus in the $200-300K range. He's done quite well working in the bidness world. You're stupid to work in academia. No money or career growth is possible until you reach Associate Professor, and that takes at least 8 years from what I've seen in most colleges.

Anonymous said...

Biology isn't bad, but you do have to capitalize on it well and a set goal in mind. I did, and I have. A lot have no set clue

For research, it's best to go with government, not university. They get the shittier grants, and the primary investigator will be a slave driver.

And that employer will expect you, at that salary, be in the lab 80-hrs a week, so no extra moonlighting. No way in hell.

It's one of those "Experience Jobs," where you hope to hell that you are able to get your names on some papers to get into a PhD program OR a better research job. That's how they justify paying so low.

Dan said...

This is a fake ad. The organization has someone they wish to hire who is already there. They are REQUIRED to advertise the job as being open but they don't really want applicants. Thus they post a job with high requirements but poor pay. Nobody will apply and after the required posting period is up they give the job to the intended recipient.
It's just a way to get around stupid HR policies.

Mark Matis said...

Oh come on now, Cecil Henry. Surely you understand there are going to be some cute chicks who need the course to graduate, and who will do ANYTHING for a passing grade.

A Texan said...

$45k per year here for a chemist in Houston, TX:
http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Staffing/jobs/Chemist-c155190f9d55bf9a?q=Chemist


These employers want some real miracles these days:
http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Holiday-Inn-&-Suites--Tulsa/jobs/Chief-Engineer-61cb8effbb21331c?q=General+Manager+Fairfield+Inn+Suite

Engineering is not much better. There are always outliers; there are process engineers and some specialty making six figures but it is not the norm. Even a PE license might be around high 60's to low 70's and you would have to be liable for something. And unless its a government job, don't forget about the wonderful 'paid time off' system.

GregMan said...

"This is a university job. They tend to pay a lot less. I'm curious what regional for-profit businesses pay."

Working as a biologist at a private company pays very little more than a university. I did both back in my former life as a molecular biologist (with a Master's by an odd coincidence). Pay sucked either way, which is why I am now a computer guy.

You have to be independently an MD to make a decent salary as a biologist. Ph.D.'s make little more than a Master's does because, again, the only competition pays just as poorly.

Those H1-B fans who say America isn't producing enough STEM majors are full of s**t.

Anonymous said...

Cecil Henry beat me to it: This would be a great part-time job if it were able to be accomplished in about 5 hours per pay period.

Tina848 said...

I am a chemist/chemical engineer. Biology majors (with MS and BS) answer the phone for me. SOMEONE needs to stop them before it is too late. The Bio department was literally 10 times the physics and chemistry department combined. Ironically, most of my fellow Chem majors went on to Med school. Only about 25% of us became scientists.

Anonymous said...

Cecil Henry....it is a .4 FTE. As the Captain has shown often, many "Master's degrees" aren't worth a pitcher of warm spit.

Mr. Bee said...

My niece and her husband has a PhD in biology. They're both working for a pharma company on the east coast with a starting salary in the low to mid 6 figure range. They bought a large house after working less than 5 years.

Piroko said...

You can quite literally earn more with that degree testing poo in the US Army.

Anonymous said...

The unemployment rate for new BS chemistry is ca. 12%.

Elkanah Haon said...

Yah pay in academia is pretty poor. Pay in private industry for Biosciences is decent enough but there's a big surplus of graduates/post-grad students so very competitive. Your advice to go for degrees which lean more towards physical sciences is generally sound though.

I'm currently finishing up a Biochemistry Bachelors (though being ex-military I pay no fees, that fact combined with working 24 hours a week mean I'll grad with some decent savings) but won't be going into grad school or any work related to it. Will likely end up going merchant navy as an Engineering Officer (basically starting from scratch again but getting paid while trained and once qualified - 3 years later - starting salaries are excellent as is regular progression and promotion).

Related to your blogpost and general attitude to Bio degrees is this piece I've just seen in my newsfeed:

The price of doing a postdoc
"Compared with peers who started working outside academia immediately after earning their degrees, ex-postdocs make lower wages well into their careers, according to a study published today in Nature Biotechnology. On average, they give up about one-fifth of their earning potential in the first 15 years after finishing their doctorates—which, for those who end up in industry, amounts to $239,970."

http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2017/01/price-doing-postdoc