Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > On the Poor Career Prospects for People with Postgraduate Degrees : 1

On the Poor Career Prospects for People with Postgraduate Degrees : 1

A few years ago, I wrote a post about how the defined and stable career trajectory is now dead in west and west-aping countries such as Japan and South Korea. Some months after that, I wrote about how the hiring practices of corporations in west have shortened the length of semi-stable career for most people to about 15 years. Then, about a year ago, I wrote a series on the long term social, economic and cultural effects of career insecurity. While they don’t make cheerful reading, it is interesting to note that these and my other older posts (pre-2016) on this general area (link 1, link 2, link 3) anticipated the rise of pseudo-populists such as Trump, the alt-right and popularity of socialism among “Millennials”. Also, have a look at my post on why rich and well-off (even in USA) are barely having any kids.

But let us get back to the topic of this post, and talk about something which I have often hinted to in previous posts on this topic. Ever wonder about the real career prospects for those with proper postgraduate education in the sciences and other related areas such as engineering. And yes.. this is relevant to issues other than the immediate future of western countries. What I am now going to describe, based on personal observations, is going to vindicate many of your darkest suspicions but also make you feel depressed. But before we talk about my observations, you should know a couple of facts about me. Longtime readers are probably aware that I came here and started my MSc when I was 20 years old in the later half of 1990s. After finishing it, I worked a couple of jobs in my field and then started my PhD in a proper STEM subject in mid-2000s and finished at the beginning of this decade. The point is, I have seen a lot more change than many others have seen.

To be more precise, I had a ringside seat to the demise of career security for smart people with postgraduate education in western countries. And don’t worry about me, I am still doing OK and will (knock on wood) continue to do so. But back to the topic at hand- What do my personal observations about the career trajectories of others who graduated a few years before myself, or alongside me, say about the overall situation. The very short answer is that it is already very bad and getting worse- if that is possible. While there are many ways to describe what I have witnessed, a chronological account of the careers of people who graduated a few years before me provides the best (if somewhat disturbing) insight into how things have gone to to shit.

While biomedical sciences have notorious for overproduction of graduates, until the mid-1990s most of them could get some half-decent jobs or at least transition into careers where their skills were useful. Somewhere between mid-1990s and 2000, that became much harder or no longer possible. To make a long story short, only those who went into to medical or dental school now have anything approaching “normal” careers. And even for them, things are pretty dismal. For starters, most are single, divorced or unhappily married with a single child. Out of the ten or so guys I know who took that route, only one has more than 2 children- and half have none. Almost every woman who went to medical school (around my age or younger) has either zero kids or just managed to squeeze one out in their late-30s. And they all look older than they should.

But at least they have some semblance of a career trajectory, because most of the rest (aka the majority) who did not get into medical school have none. Sure.. there are a few who have done OK in either academia or industry (usually the later) but most of them just seem to disappear. Confused? Let me explain. Over the years I have followed the careers of many PhD students who were smart, liked by their supervisors and generally expected to do OK in later life. But things did not work that way and many of them after promising starts and careers lasting for a decade or so, just disappear. To be clear, I am not suggesting they are dead or have commited suicide (though the later cannot be ruled out). It is just that their career in science seem to end and they stop updating their LinkedIn profiles. In almost every case, detailed internet searches failed to reveal much more than their current addresses and some more recent photos.

While I am sure that most are still alive, it is clear that they do not have well-paid or marginally prestigious jobs. Maybe they are bagging groceries at the supermarket, driving for Uber, delivering Pizza, tutoring kids or in one of those mediocre administrative positions which have proliferated in past 15 years. My point is that most of them are now doing jobs that require nothing more than an undergraduate degree. Isn’t that a terrible and cruel waste of human potential and hope? But wait.. it gets worse. Let me talk about the fate of a few people I used to know well in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And it gets depressing real fast..

When I was just finishing my MSc, there was a new postdoc from UK in the adjacent lab who had come here with his then-GF (also a postdoc). The guy was bright and competent, because within a couple of years he got a decent academic position back in UK. So far so good. Based on mutual acquaintances and PubMed, it seemed he was doing well for a decade or so. Sure.. his GF dumped him after a few years, but he seemed set for an OK career. Somewhere in 2012, his research output just stopped. My guess is that his job loss might have something to with post-2008 austerity politics in UK. Anyway.. he reemerged a few years later as proprietor of a small businesses selling dietary supplements. So a guy with a PhD, over 30 papers in decent journals and an academic career lasting almost a decade ended up hawking supplements like one of those scummy Instagram and FakeBook influencers.

Another person who did his MSc in an adjacent lab ended up running cell-phone kiosks in malls and is now selling insurance. Yet another PhD student who was considered to be very smart ended up moving to his home-city for a postdoc. He then regressed to working as a lab tech and eventually as a freelancer, the last I heard. At least, he lives in a place where his parents own a house. Another ambitious PhD student, after a couple of stints at prestigious labs as a postdoc, seems to have ended as a part-time freelancer at some research institute in another large city. The women seemed to have done a bit better, and more than a few ended up as scientific writers or mediocre administrative positions in corporations with varying degrees of stability. But in almost every case, there had no defined career with the degree of stability expended by their parents generation. Also, many of them either have no kids or one token child squeezed out in their late-30s.

To be clear, all of this occurred to people who studied, or worked, at prestigious research groups in one of the top two universities in that state. But wait.. it get worse. In the next part, I will tell you what happened to the careers of people who worked in the pharma sector between 2001 and 2008-2009. It is really bad.. to put it mildly. In future posts, I will also go in some detail about the dismal career prospects of people with postgraduate degree from well-regarded universities in subject such as Chemistry and Physics. Also degrees in engineering (various disciplines) from well regarded universities are no longer the ticket to a stable career. I hope to show you how all of this ties with rise of neoliberalism, de-industrialization and increased financialization of economy in western countries- and the death of hope.

I have a feeling that some of you might say something the lines of these people being lucky since they are still employed in jobs which pay more than median wage. Funny thing.. that is not the way things work in countries which harbor any hope for a better future. What I have described is how things typically unfold in countries that are in a steep and likely irreversible decline.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Someone
    August 17, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I could not agree more with you on this issue. It’s pretty sad looking at hundreds of LinkedIn profiles with people that have years of experience in science or business but can not find jobs that even replaced what they lost.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sorry-you-too-experienced-don-fesh/

    I would not recommend a four year degree in anything STEM at this point. Pretty much a waste. I only know of two engineers even making six figures; salaries are flat for the most part here in the US and probably elsewhere.

    A trade job provides better opportunities if you don’t mind getting a bit dirty and have some mechanical aptitude. There is a need for welders, mechanics, electricians, HVAC, and even truck drivers. Hell, I would bet the garbage truck or public bus drivers make more than engineers though they may trade some time for income.

    Otherwise, I would say the optimum degree is probably a two year associates in something technical or medical related. Radiology techs make pretty good. Dental hygienist and other such areas do to.

    • Hello
      August 17, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Agreed.

      Comp Sci Degree.

      Multiple contract jobs allowed me to climb the corporate ladder a bit, changing jobs every year or 2 (contractor – individual contributor).

      I make well above the median salary in my city and I have accumulated (est.) 7x what my baby boomer parents (older millennial) had at this time in my life all while taking 10x more risks (e.g. changing jobs to increase compensation, no pension, no major raises). This is also within a very high cost of living city (i.e. cannot comfortably buy a house as a STEM major without a high probably of becoming “house poor” and a massive foreclosure risk during the next USA recession)

      High level Observation: There are no Brady Brunch households with 1 business professional working 40 hours a week – bringing in all the $. While this was not common during my childhood, it was not uncommon.

      This is decline.

      • Someone
        August 18, 2019 at 4:41 am

        I knew guy who at one point was making over $70k ten years ago at petrochemical plant in my area. He was third or fourth down from the production supervisor. He had a two year associates in chemistry but also has some natural aptitude for some things. Plenty of well paying jobs out there for those with associates degrees and work ethic.

      • plus d'un cafard
        August 18, 2019 at 11:14 am

        A blessing of IT work is that remote jobs are becoming normalised, which might allow a great difference in salary to cost of living, if you end up in a tranquil town somewhere in the countryside. (The periphery of the Empire is much less hurt by its downfall than the centre, to take Caroll Quigley’s concept.) It might even be ideal if you want to have kids and homeschool them, which sounds obvious to me.

      • P Ray
        August 19, 2019 at 9:16 am

        When the Comp. Sci. degree can’t get you any closer to the home-owning dream it’s time to think about how you get people who rent your property to pay your mortgage.

        One of the reasons many women offer up “sex in exchange for rent” is because if the terms are spelt out she can get the landlord to lose his property when the deal gets exposed … since usually the landlord may still have payments on the property.

        That’s another reason why many cases of landlords asking for sex either inherited the property or have already paid it off.

  2. August 17, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    B…b….but Aaron Clarey t…told me STEM was one of the only ways a guy like me c….could make a reasonable income! W….Wallstreet Playboys told me quants are ALWAYS in demand in finance, how could a post doc in STEM not be ROLLING in dough at some large financial institution!! THERE’S A WHOLE LOTTA HOT BLONDES WORKING ON WALLSTREET, WHAT DO YOU MEAN INTELLECT IS NOT REWARDED WITH A VIABLE INCOME?!??

    ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY IS JUST ONE SERIES OF GRIFTS AND CONGAMES, PREDICATED ON “SOCIAL SKILLS” AND A “CHARISMATIC” ABILITY TO SELL USELESS CRAP TO LESSER FOOLS!??!?!

    Guy above me mentioned the trades, I am of the belief that there is a probable HIGH amount of nepotism and racism in the trades as well as prohibitive high entry costs, and unnecessary red tape. I could be wrong (I aint tho). I am so SOOOO glad I didn’t have kids H O L Y F U C K!!! This blog is a godsend no joke. Your truth bombs saved me from getting scammed indirectly like a million times man!

    • Someone
      August 18, 2019 at 4:20 am

      It’s pretty clear you have never talked to any trades people. Truck driving requires about a month or so of training to get a CDL. Mechanics in diesel, gas, or aircraft do have to go to school for a couple of years and accumulate their own tools sets, but this is far cheaper than the accreditation system of college. Plant operators in the petrochemical industry work long hours but the pay is good and all you need is some process technology training. Hell, some high schools even offered some introductory training where these guys could start at more than $20/hour out of highschool but they can’t pass the pee test.

      Welders who are ambitious may end up with one of those nice 4×4 1-ton trucks with a welding rig. A licenses Master Electrician can own an electrical contracting company and if you look up the test for Journeymen and Master electricians these test are not for dummies.

      I would say the lowest paid trade is in carpentry, but the barrier to entry is about zero and it all depends on skill. Lots of money to be made in carpentry if you can show up on time, do the job well and on time and on budget, but sadly this area attracts too many ‘neer do wells, so it has a bad image.

      • August 18, 2019 at 7:25 am

        It’s pretty clear that you are an old white guy who thinks the world revolves around his personal experiences. Not saying the trades aren’t doable but as far as making decent money or a high income, just like every other field in this country there is a high amount of racism and nepotism. Not to mention how long it takes to become a master/journeyman, how bad the trades are on the human body, and the fact that generally, becoming an apprentice requires an *in* ie family member or friend who will let you tag around.

        Not to mention the physical toll of certain jobs such as working in petrochemical industry or welding. Also, trucking is no longer the half-decent career it used to be.

        Also adding the fact that self owners who aren’t well connected are competing against morons who scam people, upcharge them like crazy, and barely have the minimum legal requirements to self operate. The general public cannot tell the difference btwn that and a competent master tradesman without being pointed in their direction ie nepotism ie “I know a guy who can do HVAC” conversation amongst friends and associates. If not for that, then one must self advertise/socialize/elbow rub/tap dance non stop etc, and if that’s the case why even go into the fucking trades in the first place??? Might as well go into sales.

        There is a reason so many undocumented immigrants are used for cheap labor by self owning tradesmen (not knocking the immigrants either). It’s cheap below legal limits, and the owner ops don’t have to employ/ be around any black males (of which there are plenty who would do those jobs for an even somewhat liveable wage). There’s also fairly overt and well documented history of racism in the unions as well as skilled labor fields (well everything really), and those “traditions” carry on in full in 2019. But of course your response will be to call me lazy and cite my rationale as excuses and the very reason for my complaining. Please go read a book and then drop dead!

        (also, AD if my comments are spamming please delete I keep getting error msgs)

        what sort of error messages? Let me know.

      • Someone
        August 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm

        Yes, you can clearly go f__ yourself as well. Trade jobs have their issues like any other area of work. Plumbers and electricians are licensed, but there are no real barriers to entry. A person can become a master electrician in probably less than 5 years without the $70k plus in college debt. At least you can earn while you learn; show me a four year degree program that can do that.

        I would say the plant operators have it the cushiest aside from the shift work.

        But hey, nepotism and racism and incompetency just never ever occur in white collar jobs.

      • August 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm

        Why would you edit out the word “Fuck” on a WordPress blog??? This isn’t CNBC’s web comment section you asshat (and ESPECIALLY why self edit on this of all blogs LOL). Literally every point you made I already aired my issues with, you just…. ignored every single one of my points. Also,

        You:
        “But hey, nepotism and racism and incompetency just never ever occur in white collar jobs.”

        Me in the literal post before:
        “Not saying the trades aren’t doable but as far as making decent money or a high income,

        ***just like every other field in this country***

        there is a high amount of racism and nepotism.”

        Put your glasses back on you old fuck, or learn to read. Are you new to this blog or just slow??? Do you not understand even the basic premise of the blog go read his older posts. The guy’s point is that, yeah there are *outs* employment wise and dating wise etc, but the juice is NOT WORTH THE SQUEEZE 99.9999% for ANYONE (regardless of race). I mentioned race because it’s applicable to me and the trades are pretty much openly segregated in many ways (again READ A BOOK/HISTORY), you just don’t give a shit. Not that you should but your circumstances are YOURS not mine so you solutions are moot.

        If you are too stupid to read the other posts here, a pretty basic summation of the author’s opinion about America is as follows: In the USA for at least 30+ years (much more blatantly post 2008) the only incentive that drives much of the population is one of PAIN AVOIDANCE. And in a country where the rich ENJOY creating measures that place larger and larger portions of the populace in extremely precarious situations from livelihood, to relationships, to future goals, there exists a high chance that the shit will unravel in very unpredictable/ violent ways within a short time period. Your boomer advice is worthless, even for most white guys on here (particularly truck driving. That shit is going the way of the dodo ASAP with self driving vehicles). The trades face the same problem every other field and thing does in this god forsaken hellhole: rent seeking assholes who want to squeeze every penny out of everyone and thing while sadistically enjoying the havoc wrecked in the process. It’s not 1973 anymore you fat balding cracker fuck!

      • Someone
        August 18, 2019 at 5:21 pm

        Yes, rent seeking assholes are everywhere, even in the trades, but when it comes to stupid, you read way too much into my post. And how do you know I’m old? I was simply making the point that trades pay just as well if not better than a university education even in a STEM field.

        I can only hope one of the many ‘duh-versities’ we import here will off you in the future.

      • P Ray
        August 19, 2019 at 9:55 am

        @Someone:
        You really don’t know how the trades work, do you … you have to be apprenticed to someone else first …
        and that is where the corruption is happening,
        people demand some form of payment to have you become their apprentice.
        Plus licensing and regulation are used to ensure entry into the field is controlled.

        The advice is to enter STEM, or trades, but the hidden outcome is really to occupy people so that they don’t think of revolt, to pass off shitty outcomes due to government (in)action as the individual’s problem, and for everyone to tell a struggling person: It’s YOUR fault.

        I welcome the violence to come, it will probably teach a lot of people that the only way some learn is by pain.

      • P Ray
        August 19, 2019 at 9:58 am

        There was a very good series from gawker called “Hello From The Underclass” … I collected all the entries, and a large amount of them … were from people in the trades.

        Even though that was some years ago, I don’t believe things have changed – the suicide, addiction and rampage trends actually indicate things are getting worse

    • August 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      “I can only hope one of the many ‘duh-versities’ we import here will off you in the future.”

      Once again you prove how stupid you are as that point you just tried to make is actually directed at YOUR demographic by the author of this blog. You asking me, “how do you know I am old” really just nails the coffin. Kill yourself your wife left you for a reason and your kids never call for similar reasons you worthless piece of garbage. Slit VERTICALLY, not horizontally!

      • August 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm

        This “SOMEONE” guy is one big-ass beat off. Do not pay him/her anymind. This person left a comment about black people in another topic that was erratic and only had 15% of truth to it. I didn’t respond because in life, sometimes the best response is NO response!

  3. MikeCA
    August 17, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    I have a PhD in a hard science. I got my degree in the mid-seventies. I had prestigious post-grade position, but it became clear I was not going to get a permanent position in academia. After Sputnik in 1957 there was a panic in the USA that we were falling behind in science and engineering. There was a big expansion in science education at US universities. By the mid-seventies universities were full of young staff members and the government was cutting back funding for science. There were hardly any openings for new PhDs. I figured this out and decided to seek a career in computer programming.

    Funny thing.. there is now no equivalent of such alternate career tracks in many sectors of industry. You will see what I am talking about in next part of series.

    I had a total of one undergraduate class in computer programming, but Silicon Valley was desperate for software engineers and I knew I was very good at it. I had a long, successful career and recently retired.

    You have lived most of your life in an era when the economy was expanding for decades and financialism had not yet become the destroyer of enterprises.

    I worked with a number of other PhDs, many of them in the computer science speciality I worked in. Many of the PhDs from prestigious schools are arrogant and self-centred. They simply don’t fit into development teams in industry. One PhD I worked with spent all his time rewriting everyone else’s code on the team because it didn’t look like the code he would have written, but never worked on the part of the project he was suppose to work on.

    This is not just about PhDs, as you will see in next part. The malaise runs far deeper and has a lot to embrace of neoliberalism in west since 1980s- especially USA

    At least in computer science, PhDs develop programs well enough to write a paper about it. Then they move on. In industry you develop programs to be good enough the customers will pay real money for it. Some PhDs can adjust. Many cannot.

    You do realize that unlike in past, most IT companies try to get rid of programmers older than 40-something because they have to paid more and cannot be worked them to death on basis of false promises.. right?

    • Another Commentator
      August 18, 2019 at 9:12 am

      MikeCA also hit the jackpot, when people without CS degrees could get hired with relative ease.

      • MikeCA
        August 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm

        This is perhaps true although it was more true during the dot com boom in the late 90s.

        Small silicon valley start up companies, which is where I got my start, frequently think out side the box for hiring. They are looking more for smart people that can develop innovative products and people not trained in the discipline can sometimes think more creatively.

    • MikeCA
      August 18, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      “Funny thing.. there is now no equivalent of such alternate career tracks in many sectors of industry. You will see what I am talking about in next part of series.”

      I’m not sure this is completely true, but silicon valley is/was kind of unique. Apple computer was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, both college drop outs. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is another college drop out.

      If you hire smart, motivated people, they can learn to do the job and sometimes turn out to be much better employees than a candidate with all the credentials. Most software companies today look for people with credentials and experience in exactly the kind of system they want them to develop. They frequently end up with a person who was looking for a job because he is not doing that well in his current position.

      The two jobs I had for the first 16 years of my career were mainly programming in languages no one has ever heard of. There was no way to hire people with experience in those languages. Those companies hired smart, flexible people who could quickly pick up the langues. And if you didn’t produce, they would just let you go.

      “You do realize that unlike in past, most IT companies try to get rid of programmers older than 40-something because they have to paid more and cannot be worked them to death on basis of false promises.. right?”

      In STEM you should graduate from college with a solid knowledge of the current state of technology in your specialty, but over the next 40 years that technology will change enormously. You have to keep learning new things to justify your salary. I have always heard that IT companies want to get rid of older workers to replace them with younger, less expensive workers. When I decided to retire I was already a few years older than 65 and the whole management chain tried to talk me into staying for another year or two because they were worried about finding people to take over what I had been doing.

      College credentials help you get your first job, but generally after that, it is what you accomplished at your previous jobs that counts. After 4 or 5 years there is no difference between a PhD and a college drop out, it is what you have done after college that matters. The idea that college credentials are a ticket to an easy middle class life style is baloney. My PhD helped get my first job, but it is the products that I developed for that company that helped get my my second job.

      Some of the PhDs I’ve know were arrogant and self-centered. They did not work well in teams and were not motivated to make the company succeed. Most did not last very long in silicon valley. There is a lot more to success in life than college credentials.

      • P Ray
        August 19, 2019 at 10:01 am

        In STEM you should graduate from college with a solid knowledge of the current state of technology in your specialty, but over the next 40 years that technology will change enormously. You have to keep learning new things to justify your salary. I have always heard that IT companies want to get rid of older workers to replace them with younger, less expensive workers. When I decided to retire I was already a few years older than 65 and the whole management chain tried to talk me into staying for another year or two because they were worried about finding people to take over what I had been doing.

        Kissinger had a similar idea for job security: don’t document what you do on company property, so that when everything is tangled only you can untangle it.

        This is one reason why people are very careful in employment not to be too innovative – if you saw Silicon Valley, you’d know about the Pied Piper project.

        Developing anything innovative now is dangerous when you are employed as the company can take ownership of it – maybe even if you developed it at home on your own hardware/software.

      • hoipolloi
        August 19, 2019 at 10:14 am

        “College credentials help you get your first job, but generally after that, it is what you accomplished at your previous jobs that counts.”

        I would say this is the sad truth. You spend 3 – 5 years of your youth, give your best intellectually to get a Ph.D. in STEM field and it is only good to get you a job. Where is the reward? The feeling gets worse when you realize that you were only providing slave labor to the professor’s lab. MikeCA, I can relate to rest of what you said. Thanks.

      • P Ray
        August 20, 2019 at 11:51 pm

        Again that BS … at least when it comes to Bill Gates
        Microsoft founder Bill Gates is another college drop out.
        Yes but …
        1. His mother was on the board of directors in IBM.
        2. His father was founding partner in K H Gates and Co.
        3. He had easy access to computers when most people didn’t even have one.
        4. He dropped out of Harvard, not a hick community college
        5. While he did program early on, when he was in charge later that task was delegated to other people

        As for Steve Jobs, he was the salesman, Wozniak was the engineer.

        And again … don’t confuse the different programming paradigms in the industry.

        It was previously imperative, now it’s object-oriented.

        The Ph.D’s of yesteryear are probably only valuable in the sense of our capitalist driven economy if they can:
        1. commercialise an algorithm that is provably more efficient or faster than any other
        2. use it in many products to get royalties

        There are some great people who have written books on proper programming techniques (from the early 2000s) … that now work as sole developers for Android because even with their knowledge, companies prefer people who are compliant, loyal and hardworking … notice I didn’t say innovative, that is for the boss, who doesn’t develop any software, can’t program, and won’t write things down

      • MikeCA
        August 21, 2019 at 8:12 am

        “There are some great people who have written books on proper programming techniques (from the early 2000s) … that now work as sole developers for Android because even with their knowledge, companies prefer people who are compliant, loyal and hardworking … notice I didn’t say innovative, that is for the boss, who doesn’t develop any software, can’t program, and won’t write things down”

        There is a big difference between big companies and small startups. I worked for small startups with a handful of employees and I worked for 2 of the 3 big companies in the field. The innovation almost always came from small start up companies. If a small start up developed something good, they were usually bought by one of the 3 big companies.

        There is a reason for this. Innovative products frequently fail. The sales force at the big companies have many successful products to sell and they will not devote any time to selling an innovative product that is probably not really ready yet.

        At a start up company, the salesman has no other products to sell. He/she has to find customers willing to try out a new innovative product and work with the company. If the company gets kicked out of the first customer because it is not ready yet, the company has to regroup, try to improve the product and find another customer willing to try the product. Big established companies simply cannot do that.

        That is not to say that start up companies simply hire smart people and let them do whatever they want. Far from it. They want employees that will work hard towards the shared goals too, but they are much more open to considering innovative ideas and approaches.

  4. Someone
    August 18, 2019 at 4:39 am

    What’s funny is that they make a big deal about STEM, but the “pubic” schools are incapable of turning out many with any math or critical thinking ability. The parents are lazy and so are the children in most cases. I remember in the late 80’s graduating in the top 10% of my rural high school with less than a 100 graduates. I would say most of the top 10% went to a university of some sort.

    What’s sickening are all the jobs in the private and government sector with the title ‘director of diversity (duh-versity?) and inclusion’ or ‘chief of diversity hiring’. These pay easily up $100k or more in some cases. Asinine to say the least.

  5. August 18, 2019 at 7:40 am

    @ AD

    https://gyazo.com/d3f016017e6326a6d3108b35f13d3244

    I just got it again and had to log in and out of Twitter. No fields to enter that info exist when logged into Twitter and commenting so idk why it says that.

    Hmm.. do you use the same email address/handle for twitter and WP while logged into both? This might confuse the commenting system- especially since WP is trying to “upgrade” stuff which nobody needs.

    In any case, I will have a look at the problem and see if others are experiencing it.

    • August 18, 2019 at 11:56 am

      Yeah I am only logged into twitter, haven’t logged into WP account in years tbh

      Just make sure that your profile info (username and email) for replying is filled properly. Usually browsers remember and autofill that stuff for some time after doing it manually. But they either forget after a few weeks or use the last info you filled in- perhaps, for one of your other profiles on WP.

  6. Another Commentater
    August 18, 2019 at 9:10 am

    You’ve commented on Big Bang Theory in the past. It finished with the feel good ending of Sheldon and Amy getting a Nobel Prize.

    The likely prospects for the others would probably be as follows.

    Unless Sheldon takes pity on Leonard and Raj and hires them they will end up as eternal postdocs. Raj may not even get his green card.

    Likely fast forward 10 years, when everyone is about 40:

    Leonard is still postdoc, living well off of Penny’s pharma sales money

    Raj finally gets his green card, or maybe marries a citizen, and is also still postdoc. Remember his family in India is quite well off, even by US standards

    Howard wises up, leaves university employment, earns a good income from aerospace company. Bernadette seems very competent in biotech, so she’s probably working and getting a good income.

  7. Dark
    August 18, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I wonder if there’s a commonality with the living situations of the people you referenced? Were they all living in large cities?

    One of my HS friends married a girl in his class who is now a doctor (they’re in their early 30s), and they have 4 kids. They live in our small hometown, very low cost of living, high social capital which might be the big factor?

  8. P Ray
    August 19, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Already saw the writing on the wall much earlier when the Microsoft Gold Partner I was with asked me to install a RAT on their customer’s machines (a bank) so that they “would always have access to the financial database”.

    When I refused on account of the legality – plus they never put the order in writing – I was informed I “had a personality clash with the boss(es)” (a woman who is now the HR lead of a French multinational AND who is lying on her resume) and a guy with a qualification from a degree mill who actually owns shares in the company so can never be fired.

    Joke’s on them though, I walked away with the keys for their Windows and Office … and am still using them to this day, and work with many different systems having a decent amount of fun, vidya and movies.

    They can’t complain about that because:
    1. They’ll have to get a new license for their Office if Microsoft finds out someone else is using it
    2. (Special) Windows can auto-activate based on the disk encryption … which doesn’t go through Microsoft servers.

  9. Karma
    August 22, 2019 at 12:25 am

    You should listen to the podcast interview between Eric Weinstein and Peter Thiel. They go into exactly this topic.
    Also, all computer science and IT jobs are dead to American workers thanks to the cheap labor H-1B visa program that brings in cheaper labor from India every year.

  10. Prof. Woland
    August 24, 2019 at 8:47 am

    I am in the insurance business and see this but from a different angle. IIRC, Kaiser Permanente, the huge HMO in Northern California, only writes brand name prescriptions 8% of the time. The rest of their prescriptions are either a formulary or a brand name drug. This relates to an 8% (IIRC) lower premium for their health plans over their competitors which tend to be PPOs which is why they are eating everybody’s lunch. It is a massive competitive advantage and can equate to saving hundreds of dollars per month on a families health insurance premiums.

    One reason they have such a ball hold on the cost is that they do not allow their doctors or other personnel to meet with pharmaceutical reps or attend industry conferences or soirees which tend to be the best in medicine. This means the pharmaceutical companies are held at arm’s length and only deal with the teams Kaiser puts forth. The doctors, who are the only people who can prescribe medicine, do not hand out samples, they don’t have an ulterior motive, and everything they prescribe is monitored including for doctor and pill shopping.
    One reason the heyday of big pharma is over is that they are no longer cutting a fat hog in the ass.

    Funny coming from somebody working in the one industry which people hate more than any other and is widely seen as a cancer on society.

    • Prof. Woland
      August 25, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      “Funny coming from somebody working in the one industry which people hate more than any other and is widely seen as a cancer on society.”

      The ACA (aka ObamaCare) was not health care reform. It was insurance reform. Of all the constituents or stakeholders on our side, my industry was the one who took it in the neck the worst. The pharmaceutical companies cut the quickest deal with the Democrats and so paid the least price. The docs, nurses, hospitals, etc. where somewhere in the middle.

      Sadly, had big Pharma fought harder the ACA would have been averted sparing both of us but they thought by switching sides they would be spared. Unfortunately, it won’t help them in the long run because they don’t have any friends or allies now and their likability is only slightly better than mine.

      I would agree with your statement above. Insurance companies have always been the spear catchers for the rest of the private health care industry seemingly keeping every one else above the fray and unsullied. But if you plan on staying in the pharmaceutical industry you better pray we are still around because the alternative is single payer and if that comes to fruition, there won’t be a brand name drug produced in the US for the next 100 years.

      You have a good blog. Don’t take it personal.

      FYI- I haven’t worked in the corporate pharma sector for almost a decade now because job security went down the tube. Nowadays I do similar stuff, but in a setting with more job security and less pay.

      You do realize that corporations outside USA (and in countries with universal healthcare) develop first-in-class drugs at same rate as USA.. right? Also the vast majority of first-in-class drugs were discovered before healthcare costs in USA started going nuts in early- to mid-1990s.

      First-in-class drug = first compound in its therapeutic or pharmacological category.

      Example- Ibuprofen was the first NSAID with a phenylpropionic structural scaffold, Cimetidine was first H2 blocker, Propranolol was first beta blocker, Tenofovir was the first anti-HIV nucleotide (not nucleoside) reverse transcriptase inhibitor etc.

  1. August 21, 2019 at 5:23 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: