Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Where are the Jobs for PhD graduates?

So asks the Irish Times


1 comment:

Martin Ryan said...

This article by Chris Horn (co-founder of IONA Technologies) is part of the Innovation magazine that came with Monday's Irish Times. It's possible to read the magazine online here:

Incidentally, Chris Horn's blog is also well worth checking out:

In a post on the 13th March, Dr. Horn states that "an overall national policy objective should primarily be fostering dynamic young companies based in Ireland". This is quite a different policy to "doubling the number of Ph.D.'s" and may go some of the way towards answering Liam's question, in terms of where the jobs for Ph.D. graduates will be.

Also, in a post on the 30th January, Dr. Horn suggests that we have a "highly unfortunate and ill-conceived national system of awarding points in our school examinations for grades obtained, regardless of the intellectual difficulty of any particular subject... Students are in some cases explicitly advised by some teachers and advisers to take a cluster of subjects which together may overlap in content and collectively make points accumulation easier, regardless of career aspirations."

I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Horn and I have described my thoughts at length about possible Leaving Cert. reform on the Irish Recovery Discussion Forum (this was also my submission to the Ideas Campaign):

Monday's Innovation magazine is worth reading from cover to cover (I have the hard-copy that came with Monday's paper if anyone wants to borrow it). There's an interesting idea about bringing medical devices to market (http://tinyurl.ie/771), the development of "Safe-prin" at TCD's School of Pharmacy (http://tinyurl.ie/772), and an article about the innovation taskforce announced by the Taoiseach last month. It has six months to come up with ideas on how best to support would-be entrepreneurs (http://tinyurl.ie/773).

Finally, there is an aricle by William Reville (public awareness of science officer at UCC) in today's Irish Times entitled: "Closing the salary gap is the way to give science the wow factor": http://tinyurl.ie/774

Reville described how a new campaign is underway in the UK to show people how science benefits their everyday lives and how it is crucial to the economy and to meeting the major challenges of our time. He also suggests that there is a major problem with the gap between salaries in science and salaries/income in medicine and other areas. "Until this gap is significantly narrowed science will not attract its fair share of our brightest students." So it may not just be a case of where are the jobs for Ph.D. graduates, but what kind of jobs are there, including how much do those jobs pay?