Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why encourage more students to choose scientific careers?

Everyone is calling for more students to go for diplomas in the sciences, with the idea that why need research and development to promote growth. Everyone is also lamenting that today's students are not prepared for such careers because they are lacking in mathematics skills. So it becomes a real struggle to get students interested in those fields, especially women. It is one thing to get students to take one such studies, it is a different struggle to keep them there. For one, it is a tough field to study and many abandon and go for easier topics. Those who end up graduating in sciences must be seriously dedicated to become scientists.

Not quite. Surveying British graduates, Arnaud Chevalier finds that half works outside of scientific fields within three years. Worse, having a science degree bring no wage advantage outside of sciences. In other words, they endured and persevered through science studies for no visible advantage over those who when through business, political sciences or psychology. This raises the question why everyone is pushing so hard to channel students to the science fields. There does not seem to be a market for them after graduation and/or many to do want to work in the scientific field anyway, as satisfaction studies seem to be revealing, including this one.

1 comment:

Kansan said...

There is a lot of rhetoric about getting student into STEM, but this is not backed up with any action, as the public funding for sciences keeps decreasing. Even private R&D is decreasing, as there is a higher return in marketing than research.

I suspect this has a lot to do with the stifling effect of patent protection. It is now very risky to bring any innovation to market, as one may infringe on some obscure patent of some patent horder.