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

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,105 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer


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

    There's a biiiiggggg difference between accounting maths and engineering maths (and I know this is a joke!).


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,764 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    floorpie wrote: »
    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.

    I'm afraid that's just plain wrong and probably shows a bit of uninformed bias on your side as to what is required to study engineering, how many accountants and solicitors are going to be able to handle differential equations after only a year of study.. not many.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,764 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


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

    There's more to maths than adding and subtracting ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭floorpie


    I'm afraid that's just plain wrong and probably shows a bit of uninformed bias on your side as to what is required to study engineering, how many accountants and solicitors are going to be able to handle differential equations after only a year of study.. not many.

    The points requirements for law and business are higher than those for engineering in the universities I'm familiar with. This means that students going into those courses are highly studious and capable, and likely also did honours/applied maths. In my opinion, a person who is capable of doing well in law is likely more capable of excelling in engineering, than the average engineering student, they just happened to not choose it. It's not like 1st year engineering students chose it because they're already engineers..

    If I'm biased, it's at least an informed bias because I've taught engineering students in university. Of course some proportion are excellent and some small proportion are perhaps geniuses, like in any course. Some proportion are also just about getting through, with help from their friends, grinds, extensions, and may struggle with differential equations after 4 years of study, nevermind 1.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,168 ✭✭✭Padre_Pio


    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.

    Whats the job market for food science in Ireland? Not great I'd imagine. One of the dairies is probably your best bet.

    Mech and elec engineering is a very safe choice, especially electronics. Lots of high tech companies in Ireland hiring right now.
    Jim2007 wrote: »
    Well I know a lot of accountants the retrained as Software Engineers....

    Good choice. Accounting is ripe for automation.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,764 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    floorpie wrote: »
    The points requirements for law and business are higher than those for engineering in the universities I'm familiar with. This means that students going into those courses are highly studious and capable, and likely also did honours/applied maths. In my opinion, a person who is capable of doing well in law is likely more capable of excelling in engineering, than the average engineering student, they just happened to not choose it. It's not like 1st year engineering students chose it because they're already engineers..

    If I'm biased, it's at least an informed bias because I've taught engineering students in university. Of course some proportion are excellent and some small proportion are perhaps geniuses, like in any course. Some proportion are also just about getting through, with help from their friends, grinds, extensions, and may struggle with differential equations after 4 years of study, nevermind 1.
    We are discussing people retraining, it doesn't matter how good you were at higher level maths back during the leaving, 5+ years later and you're going to struggle, badly.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    There has been a 21% increase in CAO applications for biological science courses and this is being attributed to the Covid pandemic. The likes of Luke O'Neill appearing in the media very regularly will probably be spiking interest.

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/covid-effect-spikes-interest-in-some-courses-as-college-demand-surges-40175171.html

    If we define science as the fields of chemistry, biology and physics, it is a poor career choice. 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.

    If they major in any biological science, they're likely to end up not getting a job at all and being forced down the route of a PhD. Once they finish that, they might get a postdoc contract but it will short. Emigration may be necessary for the next contract. Suddenly, they find themselves 40 years old with a very uncertain career, earning less than lads working on building sites and being laughed at when they ask about getting a mortgage. They are highly unlikely to be the next Luke O'Neill.

    I've been hearing nonsense promoting science careers for 25 years, industry is crying out for scientists, there are great and interesting careers etc. A common tactic is to mention NASA or developing cures for cancer. Covid vaccines can now be used in a similar manner, isn't it just AMAZING how science has saved us from this catastrophe. Professors and academics will promote the whole thing seemingly unaware of their survivorship bias.

    I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories but it often sounds as though vested interests are trying to flood the market with graduates in order to drive down wages. Maybe this is also why we "need more women in STEM".

    Environmental science would seem to be another poor choice of career while being portrayed as a good one due to climate change etc. Who is going to make money from actions to mitigate climate change - environmental scientists or engineers, surely the latter.

    I work in financial services. I hire physics grads all the time. Plenty of former physics grads doing really well in FS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭floorpie


    We are discussing people retraining, it doesn't matter how good you were at higher level maths back during the leaving, 5+ years later and you're going to struggle, badly.

    What, you think neuroplasticity is such that a 23-30 year old who got 600 points in the leaving cert and a 1st honours degree in law, can't outperform an 18 year old who scraped into engineering? People who have diligent/effective study habits and can absorb massive amounts of info?

    You're greatly overestimating how good an average student is in Ireland imo. This isn't to take away from the difficulty of modules in engineering, or the overall workload. I know it takes a monumental effort to succeed in it. Anyway this is besides the point, I still believe solicitors and accountants will not retrain as engineers because there's simply no need for them to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 Mollydog123


    I think it depends what people's priorities are. I loved science in school and did it when I went to college. Worked as a microbiologist for 6 years but lost interest as most of the days I was doing the same testing with no variety, in the food industry. Got the chance to move to operations, and 24 years later have moved through food to pharma to medical devices and have a much better job now in operations than I ever would if I had stayed with micro. Currently in medical devices in the west of Ireland and the operators who joined straight from school are much better paid than the analysts who did 3-4 years in college. A lot of this is to do with shiftwork/overtime etc. Still, a lot of the operators strive to get analyst jobs even though they will be paid less, because there is more variety. Operations can be a very boring job as well depending on what level you are at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,393 ✭✭✭BrianD3


    Re: people not wanting to switch careers because they wouldn't (or think they wouldn't) cope with the maths. IMO there is some truth to this for engineering but much less for science. Before this thread, I don't recall ever hearing someone expressing this sentiment about studying chemistry or biology but I have heard it on plenty of occasions about engineering.

    This was reflected in the entry requirements for engineering courses in universities - back in my day you needed at least a C in higher level for engineering but much less than that for science.

    At this time, the teaching of maths in many schools was woeful and there was a general feeling that "honours maths is terribly difficult" rather than the truth which was that it was made more difficult than it should have been by a lot of barely qualified, useless teachers.

    In my school, only about 15% of students sat the higher level maths paper and most of us got Cs. There were probably another 10% who took the ordinary level paper but would likely (notwithstanding the poor teaching) have gotten a C at higher level.

    The 10% didn't do maths at higher level because of "maths fear" or perhaps because they were smart enough to know what career they wanted and were focusing on the subjects that they needed.

    I'm digressing now so to get back on topic - I don't believe that adults in other careers would love to go back to college to study science for a lucrative career and that the main thing stopping them is "Maths fear" or "Chemistry fear". No, it's much more likely to be because they don't have to and are smart enough to know that it would be far from a lucrative career.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 165 ✭✭FHFM50


    BrianD3 wrote: »
    Re: people not wanting to switch careers because they wouldn't (or think they wouldn't) cope with the maths. IMO there is some truth to this for engineering but much less for science. Before this thread, I don't recall ever hearing someone expressing this sentiment about studying chemistry or biology but I have heard it on plenty of occasions about engineering.

    This was reflected in the entry requirements for engineering courses in universities - back in my day you needed at least a C in higher level for engineering but much less than that for science.

    At this time, the teaching of maths in many schools was woeful and there was a general feeling that "honours maths is terribly difficult" rather than the truth which was that it was made more difficult than it should have been by a lot of barely qualified, useless teachers.

    In my school, only about 15% of students sat the higher level maths paper and most of us got Cs. There were probably another 10% who took the ordinary level paper but would likely (notwithstanding the poor teaching) have gotten a C at higher level.

    The 10% didn't do maths at higher level because of "maths fear" or perhaps because they were smart enough to know what career they wanted and were focusing on the subjects that they needed.

    I'm digressing now so to get back on topic - I don't believe that adults in other careers would love to go back to college to study science for a lucrative career and that the main thing stopping them is "Maths fear" or "Chemistry fear". No, it's much more likely to be because they don't have to and are smart enough to know that it would be far from a lucrative career.

    It's been nearly 10 years since project maths was rolled out and I'm not sure if it has made much difference in students approach to higher level maths. I always thought the course was too long and now there is no choice, at least with the old course you could leave out a couple of chapters.

    I think the rise in honours numbers is due solely to the bonus points.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,493 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    Two other points.

    The difference between training and education is a student going to university for an education or to get training for a job.

    Restricted entry in the past even in the relatively recent past going to university and third-level, in general, was a big deal, today almost everyone goes if they want to.

    Which means

    In total 56.2 percent of people aged 15 to 39 possessed a third level qualification,

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp10esil/p10esil/le/#:~:text=Age%20and%20level%20of%20education&text=In%20total%2056.2%20per%20cent,plus%20was%2039.7%


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭OMM 0000


    FHFM50 wrote: »
    It's been nearly 10 years since project maths was rolled out and I'm not sure if it has made much difference in students approach to higher level maths. I always thought the course was too long and now there is no choice, at least with the old course you could leave out a couple of chapters.

    I think the rise in honours numbers is due solely to the bonus points.

    Maths is easy if it's taught correctly.

    But to teach it correctly you have to truly understand what you're teaching.

    Most school level maths teacher clearly don't understand what they're teaching (they're not mathematicians).

    I have a maths degree and in college we were taught maths like this:

    Start from a blank board, slowly build up the theory, and then apply that theory to the problem.

    So there was no memorisation or unknowns - we understood how we got from nothing to the final result, so we understood what we were doing and why we were doing it.

    Maths isn't taught like this in school. There's too much memorisation, lots of concepts are skipped over or you're told to just accept it exists and don't worry about the details. The problem with this is maths can't work if you're taught like this. Maths requires you understand everything. So if you skipped some concepts you can get lost quickly, and once lost it's difficult to understand later concepts.

    I've never really had to use any real maths (beyond the basics) in my many years as an accountant and software engineer, so a science related career is probably fine if you weren't good at maths in school.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,508 ✭✭✭caviardreams


    College really isn't just about training for a specific profession. And now more and more, people are working in one sector for 15 years or whatever and wanting to change direction completely.

    Studying something you have no interest in just because it is a ticket to a salary is a recipe for heartache imo - both in college and in your career

    Any degree will teach you critical thinking skills, analysis skills, problem solving, working with other people, comms and presentation skills etc. which are transferable to lots of jobs.

    If an 18 year old wants to study journalism, and this is the vehicle that will help them grown and develop as people in the world, as well as intellectually. Let them, once they go into it knowing the job market might be tough, and they may need to have fall back options in other sectors. Journalism would be useful for lots of things like PR, Comms roles etc. not just broadcasting or media for example


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 GimmeAHouse


    I work in financial services. I hire physics grads all the time. Plenty of former physics grads doing really well in FS.

    I can vouch for this.

    I have a BSc and MSc in Physics. After I finished college, I was hired as a software developer in a Fintech company.

    While I did take some comp sci modules in college, my hiring manager at the time told me that they were mainly looking for people with a strong maths background, such as physics/maths/engineering degrees, and that they preferred such backgrounds in my role above people with pure computer science degrees.

    About half-way through my degree when I was about 20/21, I went through a bit of a crisis of depression because I very worried about not being able to find a proper job after college. It was mainly triggered by spending too much time online reading negative posts like the OP's with very black and white outlooks of the world. I nearly dropped because of this so I could take a different degree, but I stayed with it.

    Fast forward to today and I am 30 next month and about to buy a house, so at least I know the path I went down was worth something. The jobs market is far more nuanced than what people tell you when you're in school or college. I would say though that most of the people I knew who graduated with me with the same degree are not working in physics or science, but are rather working in other fields like finance and software. They're all on good salaries now. Having a degree with a strong maths background will get you places, no doubt.


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


    I can vouch for this.

    I have a BSc and MSc in Physics. After I finished college, I was hired as a software developer in a Fintech company.

    While I did take some comp sci modules in college, my hiring manager at the time told me that they were mainly looking for people with a strong maths background, such as physics/maths/engineering degrees, and that they preferred such backgrounds in my role above people with pure computer science degrees.

    About half-way through my degree when I was about 20/21, I went through a bit of a crisis of depression because I very worried about not being able to find a proper job after college. It was mainly triggered by spending too much time online reading negative posts like the OP's with very black and white outlooks of the world. I nearly dropped because of this so I could take a different degree, but I stayed with it.

    Fast forward to today and I am 30 next month and about to buy a house, so at least I know the path I went down was worth something. The jobs market is far more nuanced than what people tell you when you're in school or college. I would say though that most of the people I knew who graduated with me with the same degree are not working in physics or science, but are rather working in other fields like finance and software. They're all on good salaries now. Having a degree with a strong maths background will get you places, no doubt.



    That is the problem, I'm a 50 year old teacher and father to teenagers and do not have near enough information or knowledge on what the job market is like.


    I understand degrees teach plenty of transferable skills and your particular degree does not mean you will be employed in that particular field.


    The problem is where to access accurate information.
    University prospectuses have some information but Universities promote themselves and their courses.
    An abundance of real life experiences, such as you described, is what is needed. Good and bad aspects.


    If my youngster asks me what would it be like to be a software engineer or to work in finance, I have no real idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭floorpie


    I would say though that most of the people I knew who graduated with me with the same degree are not working in physics or science, but are rather working in other fields like finance and software.
    Your post and this specific point is the reason for the OP/thread, i.e. that people come out of a degree expecting to be x but instead must move into y, but are not made aware of this market nuance, as you correctly put it. I suppose you know that not all degree holders can seamlessly move into dev/finance - or any such well paying areas - as physicists can. I assume this is quite worrying for these people also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,105 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer


    joe40 wrote: »
    That is the problem, I'm a 50 year old teacher and father to teenagers and do not have near enough information or knowledge on what the job market is like.


    I understand degrees teach plenty of transferable skills and your particular degree does not mean you will be employed in that particular field.


    The problem is where to access accurate information.
    University prospectuses have some information but Universities promote themselves and their courses.
    An abundance of real life experiences, such as you described, is what is needed. Good and bad aspects.


    If my youngster asks me what would it be like to be a software engineer or to work in finance, I have no real idea.

    I don't know if there necessarily is accurate information that "if you study X you can be Y or Z". Just getting through college can be tough enough so I think your kids doing something they will engage with is important in the first instance, from my experience and from what a lot of people are saying in this thread, your career is what you make of it from there. I guess I'd bucket things broadly - if they want to be a software engineer then studying law probably isn't the way to go.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    The problem is where to access accurate information.
    University prospectuses have some information but Universities promote themselves and their courses.
    An abundance of real life experiences, such as you described, is what is needed. Good and bad aspects.


    The reality is that no one can give you that kind of information, because we have no idea what the work life will be in 5, 10, 15 years time. Many of the jobs that existed 20 years ago are gone and many new ones have appeared. This idea that you can go to school, college, etc, get a job and build a career in it was a one generation thing. In terms of change in the work place we're back to the more traditional situation, where things are evolving.


    If my youngster asks me what would it be like to be a software engineer or to work in finance, I have no real idea.


    You will never have an idea of what it means, nor to be say a Mediamatiker or any of the other new roles that are starting to appear nor will appear in the coming years.


    All you can do is give them the best education you can, encourage them to follow their dreams, be flexible and open to the possibilities that come along.


  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭AlphabetCards


    The push for STEM and chemistry graduates around 1999-2007 was a nightmare for many of us who did chemistry - I did well out of it but most of my friends ended up working as technicians on 25,000 a year. As others have alluded to, the whole reason the pharma and STEM industry pumped out communications across all the media saying "we need chemists" was to ensure a good supply in the labour force, causing wages to stagnate forever. Most chemists are out-earned by brickies, and those of us salaried work late hours... Late late hours, frequently under **** managers.

    If I was to go back and do it all again, it would be arts. A good arts degree, where I'd have time to do sports, hiking, travelling and debating. Then get a good MBA or grad scheme. It's ****ing embarrassing to see PhD chemist jobs advertised here in the UK for 30,000 a year, yet the administrators, bottom-rung managers and other non-technical, non-skilled jobs in the same companies are out-earning us. I fell for it hook, line and sinker, based on bad advice from people who had the best of intentions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭GalwayGrrrrrl


    onrail wrote: »
    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
    This is where work experience is so important. I know some schools do a short period of work experience in TY but any young person who is interested in X career should be making an effort to meet adults doing that career and asks them what their job is really like. I had a young lady doing work experience with me who wanted to do a different degree to my own. Through my own contacts I knew that she needed chemistry at leaving cert to do that degree but she wasn’t aware of that and wasn’t studying chemistry. So she was walking around saying she wanted to do this particular career without speaking to anyone doing that job or even finding out the basic requirements to study that degree at university. A dream is a good start but should be followed immediately by some serious fact finding!


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,908 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty


    I work in the "E" of that. Assuming civil/structural engineering is included.

    I will NOT be encouraging any child of mine to go that way. It's really not an enjoyable career path. It's difficult work for mediocre pay in high stress conditions. And I've worked in many companies at this point. It's not a good career path.

    I can't comment on the STM.

    I actually disagree because I think it is what you make of it.My qualification is the same and if I had stuck to that civil/structural world, I would be shoe horned alright.But if you view it as a good basic degree that can be used to open doors to you in different careers, it suddenly becomes much more valuable.

    The thing about any degree is that it is what you make of it.You can stick to your chosen field and progress fairly slowly, all fields have stages where you plateau.I mean only a small percentage of people can be in the top paying positions, and in any job, big money comes with big responsibility.

    I would view the career as a whole....I chose it because I wanted a job where I wouldn't always be chained to a desk in an office, where I could maybe get out and about some days, where I could have some flexibility, a degree that would travel well, and if needed, could form a good basis to transfer to other industries.And also, because it held interest for me.Engineering ticks a lot of those boxes.I spent a year unemployed as a result of the recession in 2010 but I don't think I ever regretted doing engineering.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    The push for STEM and chemistry graduates around 1999-2007 was a nightmare for many of us who did chemistry - I did well out of it but most of my friends ended up working as technicians on 25,000 a year. As others have alluded to, the whole reason the pharma and STEM industry pumped out communications across all the media saying "we need chemists" was to ensure a good supply in the labour force, causing wages to stagnate forever. Most chemists are out-earned by brickies, and those of us salaried work late hours... Late late hours, frequently under **** managers.

    If I was to go back and do it all again, it would be arts. A good arts degree, where I'd have time to do sports, hiking, travelling and debating. Then get a good MBA or grad scheme. It's ****ing embarrassing to see PhD chemist jobs advertised here in the UK for 30,000 a year, yet the administrators, bottom-rung managers and other non-technical, non-skilled jobs in the same companies are out-earning us. I fell for it hook, line and sinker, based on bad advice from people who had the best of intentions.

    So why didn’t you change? There was and still is no reason a person with a since degree could not switch and do an MBA and go off in a different direction.

    As for these ‘non-technical, non-skilled jobs’, well they do require skills, a lot of soft skills that are not so common and far more valuable to a company. Good teams don’t just happen, they have to be built, motivated and given leadership and that requires skills too. I’ve held various management positions over the past 35 years, I never liked it and I was not particularly go at it, I was always the stop gap solution until the company found someone better to take over. Don’t belittle the people with the soft skills their contribution is just as valuable and often more so than us techies. And there are just as many poor techies as there are managers.

    As for the work life balance, well Ireland has a pretty bad reputation in that respect, but the UK is even worse. So moving to the UK, if the work life balance is important to you, is not going to work out well. In fact any where in Western Europe would probably be a better choice. Here in Switzerland it’s unusual to find anyone in the after say 19:00. But the work pace is faster, there is none of this chatting around the water cooler, going for coffee or socializing, you are there to do a job, nothing else. When regularly working later or at the weekend is considered sign of incompetence, people’s approach to work changes.

    Some people can justifiably blame their environment, but I don’t accept it from graduates. If you’ve got the ability to get a degree, you’ve got the ability to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. I you choose not to do so, the a large portion of the blame is on you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,480 ✭✭✭floorpie


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    So why didn’t you change? There was and still is no reason a person with a since degree could not switch and do an MBA and go off in a different direction.
    ...
    Some people can justifiably blame their environment, but I don’t accept it from graduates. If you’ve got the ability to get a degree, you’ve got the ability to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. I you choose not to do so, the a large portion of the blame is on you.

    Why should they change? They got a degree in chemistry and moved into one of the few roles available for scientists, i.e., they were successful with respect to the degree they chose. OP says that this poster's story is common, and I believe it's common also, so are you agreeing with OP or not? Is it bad for people to do "in demand" degrees if they're actually not needed? Or do you think it's ok to do any degree, because they can simply retrain afterwards?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,105 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    The reality is that no one can give you that kind of information, because we have no idea what the work life will be in 5, 10, 15 years time. Many of the jobs that existed 20 years ago are gone and many new ones have appeared. This idea that you can go to school, college, etc, get a job and build a career in it was a one generation thing. In terms of change in the work place we're back to the more traditional situation, where things are evolving.

    This is a good point. I ended up working as a data analyst, it's a job that wasn't on the radar when I was in college. I learned basically everything about it on the job.
    shesty wrote: »
    I actually disagree because I think it is what you make of it.My qualification is the same and if I had stuck to that civil/structural world, I would be shoe horned alright.But if you view it as a good basic degree that can be used to open doors to you in different careers, it suddenly becomes much more valuable.

    100% agree. I have an engineering degree as well, not sure there's a degree that you can take in so many different directions. Would be delighted if my kids studied engineering.


  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭AlphabetCards


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    So why didn’t you change? There was and still is no reason a person with a since degree could not switch and do an MBA and go off in a different direction.

    I wanted to work on rocket propellants, which is a chemistry-specific field. I'm bemoaning the industry as a whole, not just my personal position.
    As for these ‘non-technical, non-skilled jobs’, well they do require skills, a lot of soft skills that are not so common and far more valuable to a company.

    You are proving my point here. They are more valuable to a company because managers with good soft skills and proven project management experience are rarer than chemists. If good chemists, scientists were rare, then the cost of hiring them would be reflected in the wages!
    Some people can justifiably blame their environment, but I don’t accept it from graduates. If you’ve got the ability to get a degree, you’ve got the ability to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. I you choose not to do so, the a large portion of the blame is on you.

    As you have been in the workplace for 35 years, it is safe to say that you graduate uni in, about 1985? Since then the number of graduates in the UK has gone from 15% of 17-30 years olds to 45% (can't find similar stats for Ireland but I would imagine it is mirrored). That's a 200% increase, all vying for jobs. The opportunities haven't grown since then, the competition for well-paid jobs has increased and productivity requirements are the highest they have ever been. To suggest that students these days don't "take advantage of the opportunities" is nothing short of boomerism - they work damn hard, pay through the nose for rent and education, but are **** on by bad policies and dishoneset media and government pushing them into 'in-demand' areas.


  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭AlphabetCards


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    As for the work life balance, well Ireland has a pretty bad reputation in that respect, but the UK is even worse. So moving to the UK, if the work life balance is important to you, is not going to work out well. In fact any where in Western Europe would probably be a better choice. Here in Switzerland it’s unusual to find anyone in the after say 19:00. But the work pace is faster, there is none of this chatting around the water cooler, going for coffee or socializing, you are there to do a job, nothing else. When regularly working later or at the weekend is considered sign of incompetence, people’s approach to work changes.

    Work life balance is something that isn't really standard for any grads these days. Doesn't matter if you go consulting with BCG, McKinsey or Deloitte, or working as a nurse or doctor, or even some management grad scheme. You are worked to the bone, for far less pay in real terms compared to your golden years of the Celtic Tiger, knowing that there is someone to take your place if you **** up, or speak up.

    But yeah, cheers Mr Zurich, I'll let those grads know that they should 'learn to code' or whatever.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    Work life balance is something that isn't really standard for any grads these days. Doesn't matter if you go consulting with BCG, McKinsey or Deloitte, or working as a nurse or doctor, or even some management grad scheme.


    It actually is, just not in Ireland/UK/USA.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭jackboy


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    Here in Switzerland it’s unusual to find anyone in the after say 19:00. But the work pace is faster, there is none of this chatting around the water cooler, going for coffee or socializing, you are there to do a job, nothing else. When regularly working later or at the weekend is considered sign of incompetence, people’s approach to work changes.

    I remember being at a late evening work meeting in Switzerland a few years ago. We came out of the meeting at 17:30 and the building was deserted and all the lights were turned off. Some job getting out of the building, we didn’t know where the light switches were.

    I loved the Swiss way of working though. Go in, work flat out until going home time, then leave and forget about the place. Time at work flies.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭irishrepeat2


    Agree with OP.
    Science fields generally are ****e jobs for the effort that's put in. Engineering doesn't have a good reputation, healthcare seems in the middle and compsci seems to have good opportunities.
    I also think from people I know being Doctor/Vet isn't worth the hours and demands of the job. So yes science particularly hardcore science is wayy overated. That said there are many death traps like law.

    I think the best jobs are stuff in business like Accounting, HR, CompSci, teaching and Admin roles or classic 9 to 5 roles with limited real stressful responsibility like some allied healthcare professionals.


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