Australian science graduates face poor outcomes

Discussion in 'Science' started by qwerty123, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Phido

    Phido Member

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    The recommended career path is stay somewhat flexible.

    Employment need change over time, in the 80's early 90's there was very little work for engineers in Australia.

    Your qualifications are only a portion of you as an employee. All qualifications end up out of date and outclassed. But hopefully by then you have the sort of work experience that goes beyond your qualification. Everyone has a degree these days, you will need more than that to score a top class job.

    Research is something you do for the love or for your reputation. You don't do it for the $'s (unless you can bring it to market/patent yourself). Even nobel prize winners don't rake in big cash, but they do get to research (or do) pretty much what ever they want.

    As soon as the mining boom finishes (and it will happen), what is going to happen to all the mining engineers and geophysicists? They will have to go find jobs doing other stuff.
     
  2. gregpolk

    gregpolk Member

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    I think around 9/10 of my class mates in Biomedical science wanted to do medicine. Most of my friends in class got in eventually. A few went on to unrelated work or further studies. None are doing biomed research except those doing research while studying or working in med.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  3. Romen

    Romen Member

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    I was told to expect a dozen in 3rd year chem classes.. hah
     
  4. NanoDuke

    NanoDuke Member

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    I don't know what the problem is:

    Click to view full size!


    Most of those roles can be built off a science degree. I did a specialised science degree but now I'm working as an engineer and happy.


    The two issues I see are:
    1) The really specialised science degrees (like what I did) are aimed at only research, which is hard to get a career out of, unless you're keen to spend the extra four years at uni to get a PhD.

    2) Graduates suddenly become these elitists and think the majority of work out there is beneath them - or not wanting to relocate interstate to find work. They think that they *HAVE* to get a job related to their studies or it's been a waste of an education.
    (To a degree I've also witnessed this on the employer side of things too. I was knocked back for a several roles because I was over qualified with a bachelors degree. Most science and technical roles are being filled by TAFE students.)


    FYI out of the 7 of my group that studied B. Nanotech, I moved into the mines, one got a job with a leading global chemical company (but he's now wanting to get into the mines, too. The other 5 are still at uni doing a PhD.
     
  5. Hamulus

    Hamulus Member

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    What did the science graduate say to the law graduate?

    Would you like fries with your order?

    I have decided at 41 that I will go into teaching. I have a degree in mathematics, but unlike what everyone seems to be saying "they are screaming out for maths teachers and anyone with a degree in maths will be snapped up" I was completely stonewalled this year by both universities offering Dip Eds (was a week after the cut-off date applying so no go), and the Dept Education said I could apply for a waiver of hecs if I became their slave for 3 years after graduation, but that they were not interested in anyone who didn't first have a Dip Ed. Can't enter a classroom these days until you've passed all your pracs. The woman I talked to there was abrupt and unhelpful and far from feeling like I had something valuable to offer, I was left feeling like they couldn't care less. I imagine physics grads would cop the same.

    I really enjoyed the mathematics I did at uni, but with a double major in that and theology uni was a waste of time re employment. Would have much prefered wasting my time on a physics degree instead as maths on its own is not as satisfying.
     
  6. Digit

    Digit Member

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    Can't you just a year on top of your physics degree and do a diploma of education? that's what i was planning on doing down at uow, (halfway through environmental science, almost did physics but figured there were no job prospects for it)
     
  7. Phido

    Phido Member

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    The DET is notoriously bad when dealing with graduates. Make quadruplicates of everything you ever send them, because they will lose it and they will ask for it to be sent again. The DET is also desperately trying to retrain PE teachers into maths teachers as it solves an oversupply of PE teachers that have full time work with the DET but no classes and an under supply of maths teachers.

    The other thing that has relieved some of the pressure is pushing students to do low levels maths instead of advanced (2u/3u/4u). The school doesn't have staff that can teach high levels of maths, and students would generally get a better ATAR with a lower levels of maths. Retrained PE teachers can generally have a go at teaching general maths (ie no calculus etc).

    Hence why 60%+ of engineering graduates fail 1st uni regardless of the ATAR . Because there is no way (extremely difficult) you can pick up calculus as you go in Engineering. Hence what is killing engineering (no physics and no decent maths being taught in schools). You can get an ATAR of 98 yet almost be guaranteed to fail engineering if you did general maths and no physics or engineering studies.

    You need a dip.ed minimum to get into a classroom at schools. They are standing firm on that, and that now includes private schools due to the Institute of teachers.

    You are not valuable until you have a teaching qualification. You don't become super valuable until you get 1-3 years experience as a proven teacher. Then you still have to network, negotiate etc. Even then the public school system won't let you get your true value as pay is limited on time served.

    As a physics graduate I never really had a problem finding a job. Most of the people in physics know that they will have to be somewhat flexible in employment.

    BTW teaching physics is awesome and worth pursuing. Imagine every day getting explain to kids how big the universe is, or how things work, or some other amazing facts or process. Then we do some calculations and in the process explain how maths works. Its a job where you can literally grab annoying ignorant cocky kids and make them see the world. Students came in building jacobs ladders and plasma balls with billions of questions. The marking is easier than bio (more maths in physics less essays), the pracs take less to prepare than chem teaching, and at the end physics tend to be seen higher up in the food chain so you get more aspirational kids generally. When I am very comfortable financially, professionally, I would like to retire to become a high school physics teacher again.
     
  8. meeetch

    meeetch Member

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    Yeah this. I was studying network engineering, left, got my electrical license and haven't regretted it one bit.
    It's pretty sad but i do know a few people who've graduated from uni with a degree to not even work in the field.
     
  9. seravitae

    seravitae Member

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    I will finish up my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in one year.

    It is sad but when people say "are you going to find a job straight away or take a holiday when you finish?" and I tell them I'm going to TAFE to do a welder/plumber/sparky course so I can actually put food on the table.
     
  10. qwerty123

    qwerty123 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Investigate career opportunities outside Austraya.

    If you want to become a licensed tradie, a TAFE course by itself won't cut it.
     
  11. dark_link101

    dark_link101 Member

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    I've just done a maths degree [also doing law] and whilst it isn't in the field as it were, I think that firms look at the whole 'Graduate attributes thing'. They look to science students because they know how to think.

    Then again the above is marketing spiel for science, I recognise that.

    I have a few mates who just did Honours in pure math, and they're looking at well anything they can get. Sure, they didn't do Finance but i have a mate of mine who's applying for all the big accounting firms eg EY as such; he may be limited in what he can do but it's still a viable option. My mate who did Honours in Pure math is currently looking at Optivier and other such things. Not tooooo sure about physics and math in particular, but within Acct firms there's an entire division which specifically doesnt look at commerce grads; it's callled Tax R&D and it is slightly more interesting than it sounds; I know of someone who did medical science, then a masters in geology, who worked in the mines for a bit, then moved on to there. I know someone who did a science degree in physiology and pharmacology and ended up there too.

    As has been suggested earlier, patent attorney's pay quite well and they are a technically demanding job. alternatively, do a diploma in law at uni and try to get a job that way in la law firm with something preferably in your area. Biosciences and pharmaceuticals and the law is a big growing area, and if you did phys/pharm or medical science or some bio science, it is an area which will be quite employable. Drug companies use law firms who have people with specific knowledge about, well, drugs. and is some swanky law/Commerce free-hills corporate-M&A-reject going to know anything? hell no!

    in regards to teaching, I have heard [but know nothing about] some private schools in syd offering bursaries or mini scholarships to the right people to help fun their Dip.Ed or B.Ed or M.Ed even in particular subjects; but that also requires networking.


    Whilst I'm lucky that I'm stilll a student and dont have to fund myself or fend for myself for the time being, even with my Pass average and horrendous marks I certainly did not regret doing my Math major in science. In terms of employability yes I can and will[have to] rely on my law degree, but doing science certainly teaches you so much more not only in terms of how to think but also different intricacies in reasoning, which some bludger doing Commerce with a Fine-Ass major wouldn't understand.

    If you have decent marks at physics and math, I don't see why you shouldn't be trying out for Acct firms etc; if you're really brilliant also hit up managment consulting. [but that's really hard].

    THOUGH I do regret doing maths and law simultaneously - you need to let math stew in your head and let your subconscious solve and figure things out on its own without worrying about another discipline all together.



    Forgive me if I take the moral highground of the benefits of the liberal education, but learn for the sake of learning. also, forgive me if i did miss the point at all ><.

    I do agree that getting into research is hard and there aren't too many 'science' jobs out there :(
     
  12. seravitae

    seravitae Member

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    Don't really want to leave straya, pretty rad place. I know tafe course itself wont cut it, but it'd be a start.

    I'm either heading down the tradie route, or, maybe i will just join a temping agency and do data entry/monkey work for say 3 days a week, and use the other 2 to work post-grad/PhD emiterus in my current position, just because love science, even though no $$ in it.
     
  13. Phido

    Phido Member

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    I think you might find mature aged apprentice a hard slog (really poor pay $6 an hr stuff). Best thing to do might be to do a building course and get a building licence.

    Teaching qualification is relatively easy to do. You can do dip ed by distance.

    Also the det offers:

    "As a scholar, you'll receive a $5,000 annual training allowance while studying full time for a teaching qualification. When you complete your studies, you are guaranteed permanent employment in a NSW public school in an agreed location and awarded a further $3,000 to assist with expenses such as relocation costs." As a teacher you will get $1600 paid off your HECS every year you work.

    So as say a chem teacher, you could get $8k in benefits for your year of study.

    As with anything, get some management experience and you can make money. Engineers don't make that much money, Engineering Managers do make serious money.
     
  14. seravitae

    seravitae Member

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    Harder slog than my current PhD at 110 hours a week at $4 an hour? :)

    $6 an hour would be a payrise.

    I've thought about teaching, not really my thing. I'm sure I'll survive one way or another... :)
     
  15. geelongfan

    geelongfan Member

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    so 150k isn't that much money? most senior engineers would be on that at least
     
  16. Foliage

    Foliage Member

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    True but most senior engineer are basically project managers in at least some capacity.
     
  17. tech.knockout

    tech.knockout Member

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    I think much of this problem is with how western women are raised.

    In any hard sciences class you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of local caucasian women, or there is practically zero. Any women who are tend to be from immigrant background or are international students.

    Where do they all go? Chock full of them in HR, sales, marketing, admin, and law. The only sciences they do are psychology and the medical sciences. If you google stats for Eastern Europe, Asia, and the middle east, women are still a minority in the technical professions, but at least there's still a significant representation.

    Its not PC but its so glaring and obvious.
     
  18. MCWB

    MCWB Member

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    This is not 100% true, you can obtain "Conditional Accreditation" which allows you to start teaching without a Dip. Ed., provided that you get one within a specified time period. I have just done exactly this in a private school. :) As I understand though, it's not possible at all schools.

    This is possible, but it depends on the employer and the employee.
     
  19. Phido

    Phido Member

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    Yes, what I said didn't really cater for that. It be permanently appointed and continuously work in schools you will need a dip ed. What do you need for conditional accreditation? A degree in your field?

    Teachings not for everybody, however a significant portion of science graduates will go into educational vocations (high school, university, adult, training etc).

    Women in physical sciences and engineering is a huge issue and there has been little progress in the last 100 years. Women almost exclusive do medicine and bio (making up a majority).

    In physics and engineering classes I have taught women have generally made up 1 or 2 students in the class. Generally those 1 or 2 women however have been some of the brightest students.
     
  20. MCWB

    MCWB Member

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    Yeah correct, you need a degree in a relevant field and to have either started a Dip. Ed. or undertake to complete one in the future (within a certain time-frame depending on your employment status). You then undergo the usual Professional Competence accreditation process.

    Two other things worth mentioning for people thinking of heading down this path:
    1. Check Dip. Ed. course eligibility re: what your Science majors will allow you to study in your Dip. Ed. Some courses require you to have studied the subject to 2nd year level.
    2. Some Dip. Ed. courses require you to do at least some of your practicum at a school at which you are not currently teaching (others, however, have no such restriction).
     

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