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Science is a poor career choice - Covid effect on CAO applications

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭floorpie


    I agree with OP. If you love STEM, do the degree for your own personal interest. But the paths to employment in these fields (perhaps except engineering) are not straight forward unless you're an excellent graduate, and 90% of graduates are not excellent. School leavers should be made aware of this, rather than being told that there's massive demand for grads, which there is not. In the US at least, in the 2010s, 45% of science grads work in anything science related (incl. teaching), only 20% of agri/food science grads work in that field, versus 65% for computer science and maths:

    https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/us-workforce/2013/html/SES2013_DST_03_2.html
    https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/us-workforce/

    Anecdotally I know very few who did science and are now working in anything even vaguely science-related and I suspect it's the same for everybody in this thread. Several posters say that you can instead take an alternative route into your role, e.g. do a science degree then become a solicitor, or get several masters degrees before finally landing that coveted 30k a year science role. This might be how things "worked out" for some people but it isn't how it should work. The 2-5 years that people now waste doing useless masters degrees, working random roles, searching for jobs, represent earnings you may never make up in your life.

    If I could go back in time I'd pick any field that has a direct link between the training you receive, and your eventual on-the-job tasks, e.g. accountancy, medicine, nursing, teaching, or even a trade.
    Jim2007 wrote: »
    Exactly and the worst thing any parent can do is prevent a young person from doing something they are interested in.

    That's the point. These young people likely wont get do what they're interested in once they complete their degree. Look at the poster above you: "I did microbiology ... granted I do have 2 MSc degrees ... but Have never once worked in a lab". That's great for this poster because he loves his job, but that's a nightmare if you did microbiology in order to work in a lab.
    Quite an ill-informed post with no evidence or even specifics to back it up IMO. Doubly so for the usual suppressing wage growth conspiracy.
    Also, suppressing wages, I just find this argument absolutely bizarre. There are going to be X number of graduates per year regardless coming into the workforce. If people don't study science they are going to study something else. But vested interests have targeted science in particular to drive down wages? What?

    STEM companies have been caught out several times for suppressing wages, so there's no need for posters to be so arrogant about "conspiracy theories". The biggest case being a wage-fixing scheme between Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Dell, IBM, eBay, Microsoft, and more, wherein they wouldn't poach each other's workers, and agreed not to counteroffer to applicants, i.e. industry-wide wage suppression:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Tech_Employee_Antitrust_Litigation
    https://pando.com/2014/03/22/revealed-apple-and-googles-wage-fixing-cartel-involved-dozens-more-companies-over-one-million-employees/

    Other instances come to mind, such as underpaying women and visa holders: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/22/oracle-lawsuit-discrimination-against-women-minorities

    It stands to reason that if the headquarters of companies we're talking about here have at times signed off on illegal measures to suppress wages, they'll also take whatever legal measures they can, including increasing demand for STEM degrees.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,669 Mod ✭✭✭✭dfx-


    It very much depends on what you want to do. I am much happier in the lab than an office or building site or sales or whatever the OP suggests is a good choice.

    You should take the college course in something you are interested in or good at. Having a degree in something you don't want to do but pays well makes no sense, the job will be a chore. One of the worst cases is people doing high points courses just because they can get the points or their parents want it. Awful decision.

    Out of the five or six colleagues I graduated with my PhD in Chemistry, one of us is still in academia and several are abroad - teaching, lecturing and Intel comes along every so often and scoops everyone up. You're suggesting emigrating is a bad thing or something to avoid which also makes no sense...


  • Posts: 17,728 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    ............ If someone has one of the more practical degrees aimed at the pharma industry, maybe they'll get a job as a QC analyst in a factory earning less than the admin staff and production operatives. ..............

    In many places now much of the production operatives are graduates with degrees. They get the foot in the door and a couple of years GMP experience and they go into engineering or something and earn more again.

    I'm not sure there's much admin staff in pharma factories........... there are folk whom are desk based but it's not like 40 years ago when the folk at the desks were mainly typists etc :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭floorpie


    dfx- wrote: »
    Out of the five or six colleagues I graduated with my PhD in Chemistry, one of us is stil in academia and several are abroad - teaching, lecturing and Intel comes along every so often and scoops everyone up. You're suggesting emigrating is a bad thing or something to avoid which also makes no sense...

    Being forced to emigrate against your wishes because of a lack of opportunity is of course bad. If you want to emigrate then fine.

    So you and 1 other PhD stayed in academia, out of 7 PhDs you know? That's probably a better rate of retention than some fields. But having to spend 10-12 years in higher education doing a degree and masters in science, then a PhD, in order to compete for a 30k postdoc role in a lab, temporary contracts, and slim chance of any professorship really highlights OPs point, sorry (I say that as somebody who's taken this path)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,811 ✭✭✭joe40


    mariaalice wrote: »
    So what career should teens choose or how should they choose?

    I have a relative who is a career guidance teacher and the biggest influence on teens are parents and fashion, there are careers that are fashionable for a while it could be architecture or being a vet or biomedical science whatever is fashionable that year.

    The problem I think for teens making career choices is the difficulty in finding out what actual jobs entail.
    You might have a reasonable idea about what a teacher, nurse, doctor etc does, but how would a teen know what working in finance, or computer software is like.
    What is it like to do research in a pharma company? They would have no idea.

    I would love some system of truthful career guidance. Warts and all information about different careers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,078 ✭✭✭salonfire


    dfx- wrote: »

    Having a degree in something you don't want to do but pays well makes no sense, the job will be a chore.
    One of the worst cases is people doing high points courses just because they can get the points or their parents want it. Awful decision.

    The whole "do what you love" is very mis-leading and is causing people to choose courses that lead no-where after 4 years.

    Young people should be told that very, very few people enjoy their work and could pick 100 other things they'd rather do, but will have to suck up a bit of hard work and effort in order to provide for themselves and future families.

    The high earning doctor on his 23th hour of shift doesn't "enjoy" it but has a mindset to knuckle down and get on with it.

    Peoples lives are in chaos in Dublin, stuck in a renting cycle on low pay, unable to start families etc. If people want to break that cycle, it should be laid out in stark terms to the 16 year old. Not some fluffy nonsense of follow your heart.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,144 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    floorpie wrote: »
    That's the point. These young people likely wont get do what they're interested in once they complete their degree.


    And they'll know if they don't get to take the first step... I know 5 or 6 young people who dropped out or went back a second time, because they did what their parents forced them to do.... tell young people that they can't peruse their dream because it is difficult or they might fail is a dumb idea. They have one life to live and they deserve to at least have a chance to peruse it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,231 ✭✭✭Hercule Poirot


    I work in a Pharma lab and we have loads of different degree types, not all of them specifically Pharma related (although mine was)

    We have Environmental Science degrees, Biology/Biomedical degrees, Physics/Instrumentation degrees - a degree in probably any science discipline will get your foot in the door of a Pharma lab

    The degree is more due to GMP requirements and to ensure that you have a bit of kop on


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭onrail


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    And they'll know if they don't get to take the first step... I know 5 or 6 young people who dropped out or went back a second time, because they did what their parents forced them to do.... tell young people that they can't peruse their dream because it is difficult or they might fail is a dumb idea. They have one life to live and they deserve to at least have a chance to peruse it.

    And for every one of those drop outs, I'll happily wager that it's matched by someone following their dream, only to find out their 'dream' wasn't based in reality. A 17 year old knows very little about real life while making their CAO choice.

    Ask any Vet up to their hole in ****e at 3am calving a cow thinking they'd spend their career nursing Lassie back to health


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭floorpie


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    And they'll know if they don't get to take the first step... I know 5 or 6 young people who dropped out or went back a second time, because they did what their parents forced them to do.... tell young people that they can't peruse their dream because it is difficult or they might fail is a dumb idea. They have one life to live and they deserve to at least have a chance to peruse it.

    I really do agree with this, but just wish kids were informed of the reality before making their choice. The reality is that many grads from many courses, including science, will out of necessity end up in a generic grad programme in a generic company that they've never heard of before, doing generic office tasks completely unrelated to their degree. It's bad, imo, to make 18 year olds think that there's massive demand for xyz, when in reality they're likely going to end up in whatever companies have the biggest grad programme intake that year, the likes of Paddy Power or Smyths or Accenture if they're lucky.

    Nothing wrong with these companies, but for some grads it leads to a sunk-cost situation where they do masters, PhDs, unpaid internships, side projects, emigrate etc, pursuing something that was perhaps unattainable.

    A Gender Pay Gap bill was announced today in order to increase pay transparency. It'd be useful if the gov would mandate transparency around grad hiring too so as to inform kids about the topics in this thread.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,333 ✭✭✭BrianD3


    floorpie wrote: »
    Anecdotally I know very few who did science and are now working in anything even vaguely science-related and I suspect it's the same for everybody in this thread. Several posters say that you can instead take an alternative route into your role, e.g. do a science degree then become a solicitor, or get several masters degrees before finally landing that coveted 30k a year science role. This might be how things "worked out" for some people but it isn't how it should work. The 2-5 years that people now waste doing useless masters degrees, working random roles, searching for jobs, represent earnings you may never make up in your life.
    I wonder how many solicitors, marketing people, accountants etc. retrain as scientists. This is very rare IME whereas I know of plenty of scientists who went the opposite direction. And this then gets spun as "a science degree is great, look what you can do with it afterwards".

    In my undergrad days, I was friendly with a mature student who had left his job as a barber to study science. Swallowed the hype about science, wanted a career change, thought it sounded interesting. It was a struggle for him, lots of repeat exams but stuck with it and got his degree. After graduation, like many of us, he couldn't get a job but unlike most of us, he didn't have youth on his side. Went back to barbering and admitted that the college years were a complete waste of time from a career point of view. He did, at least, get a college experience out of it and said he met some good people. But he could have done that without slogging through hours of labs and lab reports.

    Re: the arguments that "people have it hard in every job" - yes they do - but if science was lucrative, adults would be retraining to get into it, not leaving it in droves once they realise they've made a big error. Some never realise their error or try to rationalise it (ah shur I never wanted a good salary enyway)
    Some go down the rabbithole of the the PhD/postdoc route, a small number of those get lucky. For others it will be short term contracts, emigration and poor finances.

    For some it is worse again - a few years ago I was on interview boards for Jobbridge intern "positions", basically unpaid lab tech positions. There were more applicants than the number of "jobs". Some of the applicants had PhDs and postdoc experience. They interviewed well but others were better. 35 years old, 4 year degree, PhD, postdocs and being rejected for a "job" that pays nothing.

    Also I've often browsed linkedin profiles of people I was in college with. With over 20 years having passed since graduation, a good feel can be gotten for how people are doing. When you see mention of PhD then a HDip and then JobBridge, you suspect that things are not good. Good people too, near top of their class with good hons degrees and having completed a PhD before they tried (and clearly failed) to become a secondary school teacher.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭onrail


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    I wonder how many solicitors, marketing people, accountants etc. retrain as scientists. This is very rare IME whereas I know of plenty of scientists who went the opposite direction. And this then gets spun as "a science degree is great, look what you can do with it afterwards".

    Excellent point. I've yet to hear of any accountant, solicitor or teacher who has retrained as a scientist or engineer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    I did know someone who did some sort of science food tech degree and was retraining to be a nurse as she could no get a job after her degree, shd did say I know how to make cheese and beer so maybe it wasn't a complete waste of time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,346 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52


    mariaalice wrote: »
    Dont do anything is the message dont do science, don't do engineering or civil engineering, don't do IT, don't do teaching, don't do nursing, don't become a hairstylist, in fact, any career you can think of someone will come on here and say its a terrible career.

    Well said, as are your other contributions here :) such an unfettered bias in this thread :eek:
    The OP should edit the title to say Work is a poor career choice, just draw the scratch and live in a house where 4 or 5 generations have done the same.

    Education is the only route out of poverty and deprivation.

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,144 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    onrail wrote: »
    Excellent point. I've yet to hear of any accountant, solicitor or teacher who has retrained as a scientist or engineer.

    Well I know a lot of accountants the retrained as Software Engineers....


  • Registered Users Posts: 46 feckwunker


    I work in a STEM field in a highly niche, but now very popular, and over-subscribed field (thank you Blue Planet). There is no such thing as job security and you have to slog through years of increasing levels of academic qualifications before you even get a chance to work in this field. The pay is not great, but we were under no illusion that it would be when we all first entered college - our department head stood up in front of us on day one and said "If you want to make money, you're in the wrong field. If you want to get a job in this, you'll have to likely leave the country".

    However, while financially it isn't rewarding, it's genuinely quite an interesting job as each day brings new challenges and issues. Some of the research we undertake also yields amazing data which actually affect policy and decision making nationally and even internationally. I could probably easily sell my soul and move into pharma but everyone who I know who works in it, while well off, have very little job satisfaction so I think I'm happy enough with my lot.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,835 ✭✭✭amacca


    floorpie wrote: »
    I really do agree with this, but just wish kids were informed of the reality before making their choice. The reality is that many grads from many courses, including science, will out of necessity end up in a generic grad programme in a generic company that they've never heard of before, doing generic office tasks completely unrelated to their degree.

    Have you worked with groups of your average 16-18 year olds before?

    While they are not homogeneous by any means it's my opinion the majority of them wouldn't truly be able to appreciate what you are saying nowadays.....perhaps they would understand in an academic sense but they wouldn't take it on board and believe it and be able act/make decisions accordingly.... if only to find out they definitely don't.......trying to make the horse wise before the race is a very difficult undertaking......if they don't get to take control and make the decisions at some stage you will be to blame for anything that goes wrong.

    What I see a lot of on this thread are adults that have stuck their finger in the fire and being burned (or they believe they have) and they think if that information was conveyed to kids they wouldn't stick their fingers in the fire....not a hope of that imo....theres always a fire and always a steady stream of people that need to get their digits into it and if there wasnt there would be bigger problems.

    Not a hope of a guidance counsellor hammering home a life lesson like that to most 16-18 year olds.....they can and probably do give information but something like that only really sinks in through experience. A system cant have everyone making the correct decisions......even if it did then they would quickly become the wrong ones anyway

    Besides if they did succeed...it would just drive hordes of students onto another horse which would become oversubscribed. If you want to deliver and have a message like that appreciated then I think a parent acting for the right reasons and a kid that trusts them will be the only scenario where that kind of life experience can sink in and benefit the next generation without making them think there's no point doing anything or pressuring them into doing something they hate which you will be blamed for even though you thought you were acting in their best interests.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    I wonder how many solicitors, marketing people, accountants etc. retrain as scientists. This is very rare IME whereas I know of plenty of scientists who went the opposite direction. And this then gets spun as "a science degree is great, look what you can do with it afterwards".

    In my undergrad days, I was friendly with a mature student who had left his job as a barber to study science. Swallowed the hype about science, wanted a career change, thought it sounded interesting. It was a struggle for him, lots of repeat exams but stuck with it and got his degree. After graduation, like many of us, he couldn't get a job but unlike most of us, he didn't have youth on his side. Went back to barbering and admitted that the college years were a complete waste of time from a career point of view. He did, at least, get a college experience out of it and said he met some good people. But he could have done that without slogging through hours of labs and lab reports.

    Re: the arguments that "people have it hard in every job" - yes they do - but if science was lucrative, adults would be retraining to get into it, not leaving it in droves once they realise they've made a big error. Some never realise their error or try to rationalise it (ah shur I never wanted a good salary enyway)
    Some go down the rabbithole of the the PhD/postdoc route, a small number of those get lucky. For others it will be short term contracts, emigration and poor finances.

    For some it is worse again - a few years ago I was on interview boards for Jobbridge intern "positions", basically unpaid lab tech positions. There were more applicants than the number of "jobs". Some of the applicants had PhDs and postdoc experience. They interviewed well but others were better. 35 years old, 4 year degree, PhD, postdocs and being rejected for a "job" that pays nothing.

    Also I've often browsed linkedin profiles of people I was in college with. With over 20 years having passed since graduation, a good feel can be gotten for how people are doing. When you see mention of PhD then a HDip and then JobBridge, you suspect that things are not good. Good people too, near top of their class with good hons degrees and having completed a PhD before they tried (and clearly failed) to become a secondary school teacher.

    Coming into this thread to offer a solicitor's point of view, the reason solicitor's don't retrain as scientists is because on average, we either aren't bright enough or opted out of science subjects for the leaving cert and see that as a barrier to entry. Plenty of solicitors are bad at fundamental parts of science like maths etc. There's very good money in law if you work in the right areas but those areas come with very, very long hours and usually repetitive work.

    Your last paragraph is very interesting but also true for law, imo. The people who do the best aren't necessarily the brightest, they are the ones who can stay working hard when the easier option is to check out and go home, who can grind away on the days they don't fancy working etc. I also know plenty of intelligent people who aren't, for want of a better word, "glic", they lack that extra cuteness you need to advance in your career.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,226 ✭✭✭ongarite


    Interesting discussion.
    Plenty of job opportunities at the moment and into future in electronic engineering, particularly semi related.
    I'm with big semi inspection company and its hard to get graduates for the roles we have.
    With recent US and EU decisions to move production into their regions to protect supply from critical shortages in Taiwan, there is guaranteed work for foreseeable future.

    Pay & conditions are good if recent After Hours discussion on pay scales is accurate reflection of wages in Ireland with possibility of relocating to US if that interests people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,078 ✭✭✭salonfire


    ongarite wrote: »
    Interesting discussion.
    Plenty of job opportunities at the moment and into future in electronic engineering, particularly semi related.
    I'm with big semi inspection company and its hard to get graduates for the roles we have.
    With recent US and EU decisions to move production into their regions to protect supply from critical shortages in Taiwan, there is guaranteed work for foreseeable future.

    Pay & conditions are good if recent After Hours discussion on pay scales is accurate reflection of wages in Ireland with possibility of relocating to US if that interests people.

    If it's Intel, maybe the fact there are whole threads discussing the nonsense that workers there put up with might explain why people stay clear.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,226 ✭✭✭ongarite


    salonfire wrote: »
    If it's Intel, maybe the fact there are whole threads discussing the nonsense that workers there put up with might explain why people stay clear.

    No, not Intel but the suppliers.
    The power/knowledge & better pay/conditions are with the suppliers.
    ASML, KLA, Lam, Nikon or AMAT present far better career opportunities than working as a tech for Intel IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭onrail


    Well said, as are your other contributions here :) such an unfettered bias in this thread :eek:
    The OP should edit the title to say Work is a poor career choice, just draw the scratch and live in a house where 4 or 5 generations have done the same.

    Ach I don't think that's fair. Satisfaction at your job/career should be a balance of how lucrative, 'cushy'/secure or enjoyable it is.

    A career that offers none of the three can justifiably be criticised.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭floorpie


    mariaalice wrote: »
    Dont do anything is the message dont do science, don't do engineering or civil engineering, don't do IT, don't do teaching, don't do nursing, don't become a hairstylist, in fact, any career you can think of someone will come on here and say its a terrible career.
    mariaalice wrote: »
    I have a relative who is a career guidance teacher and the biggest influence on teens are parents and fashion, there are careers that are fashionable for a while it could be architecture or being a vet or biomedical science whatever is fashionable that year.
    mariaalice wrote: »
    I did know someone who did some sort of science food tech degree and was retraining to be a nurse as she could no get a job after her degree, shd did say I know how to make cheese and beer so maybe it wasn't a complete waste of time.

    Don't know how you and other posters can hold all of these views at the same time. Your friend lost out on 4-8 years of earnings in her life - more if she spent some time looking for food science work, did an MSc in food science, did unpaid internships as many did in the 2010's, i.e., she lost out on 120-400k that she will never ever make up for with a career in nursing. Even ignoring potential earnings, just between capitation/registration/tuition fees, retraining in this way costs 25-40k out of pocket. Everyone in this thread know many people who had the same experience.

    I posted above that in the US only 20% of people who do food science get a job in food science (this was 8 years ago so perhaps things are different in this field now). When you consider the cost, stress, loss of earnings, and general waste of time that come from an unsuitable degree choice, I think it's sensible for people to say "consider not doing x", it's sad that kids are encouraged to choose degrees because of a fad, and it's bad that industry spokespeople are given free reign in media to hype up areas (as described by OP).

    The article in OP says CAO first choices for environmental science have gone up 70% in a single year, and journalism up 60%. Colleges will stuff some % of this increase into classes, but this increase in environmental scientists and journalists is likely not needed by industry. So some of these 17 year old kids will likely be in the same position as your friend in a few years. This is bad, no? Letting adults make their own mistakes is perhaps acceptable in this instance, but it's kids we're talking about here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    There are no guarantees in life just because someone did a science degree does not mean they will work in science, and how would anyone stop teenagers from taking a science degree or any degree for that matter.

    The thing about food science is that it is an applied science degree the person will come out with some skills, they might start a microbrewery or some other food business who knows.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,710 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    onrail wrote: »
    Excellent point. I've yet to hear of any accountant, solicitor or teacher who has retrained as a scientist or engineer.

    As said above, most of them couldn't. They simply wouldn't have the maths capabilities a few years after the leaving cert.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭floorpie


    mariaalice wrote: »
    There are no guarantees in life just because someone did a science degree does not mean they will work in science, and how would anyone stop teenagers from taking a science degree or any degree for that matter.
    There are no guarantees of course, but if you train as a plumber you're probably not going to need to go back and become a vet. On the other hand, everyone I know who did science had to retrain in some way or another, either by doing masters degrees to specialise or another degree like your friend, or else they doubled-down by going into academia which is an even bigger disaster.
    The thing about food science is that it is an applied science degree the person will come out with some skills, they might start a microbrewery or some other food business who knows.
    Na. Sorry.
    As said above, most of them couldn't. They simply wouldn't have the maths capabilities a few years after the leaving cert.
    The reason accountants and solicitors don't retrain as scientists is because 1) they don't need to, 2) they're far too smart to, not because they're incapable. The reason science grads retrain as nurses etc (as in the thread above), or else go sideways into arbitrary careers (consultancy grad programmes etc) is out of necessity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    floorpie wrote: »
    There are no guarantees of course, but if you train as a plumber you're probably not going to need to go back and become a vet. On the other hand, everyone I know who did science had to retrain in some way or another, either by doing masters degrees to specialise or another degree like your friend, or else they doubled-down by going into academia which is an even bigger disaster.


    Na. Sorry.


    The reason accountants and solicitors don't retrain as scientists is because 1) they don't need to, 2) they're far too smart to, not because they're incapable. The reason science grads retrain as nurses etc (as in the thread above) is out of necessity.

    You are still not explaining how you would change the system and how you would encourage young adults not to do science or any degree its all well complaining but you need some solutions as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭onrail


    As said above, most of them couldn't. They simply wouldn't have the maths capabilities a few years after the leaving cert.

    Doesn't stop people attempting to enter more lucrative, but similarly Maths-ey fields of Data Analysis say? Pretty tough to get a place on the Springboard courses with those because of demand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭floorpie


    mariaalice wrote: »
    You are still not explaining how you would change the system and how you would encourage young adults not to do science or any degree its all well complaining but you need some solutions as well.

    I don't think kids should be discouraged from doing any degree.

    But industry/gov should be required to be transparent about graduate hiring, i.e. show how many graduate from each degree each year, how many are hired, and into what positions.

    Also, spokespeople for industry x should be scrutinised when they say how big the demand is for graduates in x, i.e., does their grad hiring reflect what they're saying in media.

    Example: I remember a VP in PayPal saying that the Irish government need to do more to improve student's language skills, because their company can't find enough Scandinavian language speakers, specifically Icelandic and Norwegian. I cite this example because it's the most absurd one I recall. That is, it's absurd to suggest that if Irish students take up a niche Scandinavian languages in Uni, they'll be hired for a role that requires a native speaker, because they 100% will not. But this is the type of BS that spokespeople put out there, that the media push, that influences gov policy, and kids take as evidence for demand.

    Here are two articles lamenting the lack of Nordic language skills in Irish teens, making it difficult for an MNC to fill their minimum wage customer service positions:
    https://www.siliconrepublic.com/jobs/irish-workers-dont-have-the-language-skills-to-fill-half-of-paypal-jobs-in-dundalk

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/arid-20184920.html

    The key point direct from the MNCs mouth here, and why it's funny to see people commenting about "conspiracy theories" in this thread, is that they say: "Employees hired from oversees come at a higher cost for PayPal, an expense that wouldn’t be necessary if Ireland’s education system had sufficiently prepared workers with these skills."

    I see this same thing in media with science as described in OP; absurd hyping of areas of science that don't have the demand to meet the hype. Imo it's clearly a mechanism to reduce costs. BrianD3's characterisation of scientists - due to a lack of industry demand - being 40, earning less in postdoc positions than 18 year olds on building sites, with year to year contracts, is really quite accurate.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,376 ✭✭✭The_Captain


    As said above, most of them couldn't. They simply wouldn't have the maths capabilities a few years after the leaving cert.

    If your accountant doesn't have maths capabilities, I'd suggest you need a better accountant :D


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