Sci/tech doctorate protects you from unemployment – in the US
Picture rather different in old Blighty
Research carried out in the US suggests that having a science doctorate there will almost entirely protect you from becoming unemployed, a picture contrasting with that in the UK.
Data gathered in 2008 and released yesterday by the US National Science Foundation shows that doctorate degree holders in science, engineering or health fields had an unemployment rate of 1.7 per cent as compared to 6.6 per cent for the American labour force in general.
Among science/engineering/health doctorate holders, the lowest unemployment rate was among specialists in mathematics and statistics, just 1 per cent of whom were unemployed. The next best field to be in was computing and IT, whose PhDs saw just 1.1 per cent unemployment. The highest sci/eng/health unemployment was seen among US physical-sciences PhDs, 2.4 per cent of whom were jobless.
This picture varies from that in the UK: according to the British government, 7.5 per cent of PhD graduates in the physical sciences are either "assumed to be unemployed" or "not available for employment". This figure rises to 9.9 per cent in the case of arts and humanities PhDs, and 8.2 per cent for social-sciences PhDs.
Unemployment across the labour force in the UK is assessed as 7.7 per cent at the moment, though it should be borne in mind that this is not measured in the same way or at the same period as the PhD data or the US doctorates stats. The various figures offer a rough comparison only.
More details on the US doctorates statistics can be read here courtesy of the NSF. ®
Another difference between the US and the UK
They still have thriving engineering and science sectors in their economy, we have openings for mortgage brokers, pizza delivery boys and the insanely large number of people required to sell Sky TV packages in shopping centres.
Based on (admitedly limited) experience of post grad study at one US university (UC Berkeley).
1) Top US PhDs involve a lot of demanding and advanced work, including two years advanced course work (at least when I was there)
2) Many doing post grad study were doing so to help them get a hgh paying technical job.
With that motivation and dedication its not wholly suprising that they tend to be employed.
P.S. Succeeding in something challenging is a source of enjoyment and satisfaction.
You victims piss me off!
"never got the chance..." bollocks!
There are always opportunities for further education, even at university level, while you are employed.
I did post-grad computer science studies while employed and while I was conscripted in the South African army. I had to drop one course because it clashed with military exercises but took it again the next year.
When I lived in South Africa I worked with a black guy who really had to grind to get his education. He studied computer science during the apartheid era while living in a tiny dwelling where he lived with his mother. brother, wife and kids. His only study area was the kitchen table which was only available in the evenings after the meal had been made and eaten and the kids had been put to bed. He was working full time, catching a morning bus at around 6 am and getting home at 6.30pm.
If he could make the opportunity then anyone can!
Now tell me you never had the opportunity..... absolute bollocks!