Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Daily Pump Trap: 12/29/09

Evenin', folks. So, it's been a while, but things are slowing down. There have been 59 new positions posted on the ACS Careers website. There are 12 academically-oriented positions (20%) and there are 37 (63%) positions from our friends at Kelly Scientific Resources. 

Good hands with Goodyear?: Goodyear is looking for a PhD materials scientist. Sounds like fun, and you'd get free tires, no doubt.

More consumer products!: Bausch and Lomb is looking for a MS (experienced) or PhD (less so) formulator for its lens care division. Cool.

And one for the organic chemists: Polysciences, Inc. (Bucks County, PA) is searching for an experienced synthetic organic chemist to work on specialty chemical manufacturing, specifically polymers.

Kelly Time!: One last time this year, with feeling. Are you a chemist? Do you like chemistry? Kelly Scientific Resources would like to know if you would like to be an animal handler, a glassware technician (high school degree required!) or a food quality control technician.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daily Pump Trap: 12/17/09 edition

Good morning! There are 73 new positions up on the ACS Careers website; of those, 15 (21%) are from academia and 47 (64%) are from our friends at Kelly Scientific Resources.

Better than it sounds: MEMC is looking for a "cleaning scientist". Bad titling, I think -- they're really looking for a M.S. surface chemist for developing new cleaning technologies.

A worthy challenge: Materia (the Grubbs' catalyst people) is looking for a market development head. Sounds like fun, and a chance to make a lot of money. Good luck.

Finding the peaks: Waters is looking for a PhD chemist to work on new products for separation science; sol-gel and materials experience is highly desired.

Kelly Time!: Not much objectionable, but still: why would you look for a microbiologist, a food tech or someone with a degree in nursing?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The most frightening sentence I read today

As an organic chemist, you get steeped in the traditions that started with Wohler, flowered into full bloom under Woodward and Corey and are continued in labs across the world today. On good days, that's what I aspire to. So it is with that in mind that I read this terrifying sentence about our potential futures as chemists:
One of the most painful things about markets is that they often make fools of our fathers: Sharp operators with an eye for trends often outperform those who carefully learn a trade and continue a tradition."
(from a political essay by Jim Manzi, a software CEO and a right-leaning political writer.)

It is difficult to arrive at a more succinct description of my desires as a synthetic organic chemist: to carefully learn a trade and continue a tradition. Let us hope that the markets are kind to all of us.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daily Pump Trap: 12/11/09

Good evenin', folks. From December 4 through December 11, there have been 149 positions advertised in the ACS Careers database. Of those, 26 (17%) are connected to academia, while 74 (50%) are from our friends at Kelly Scientific Resources.

Hmmmm: A couple of positions advertised from BMS and Abbott, but not much really. A smattering of government positions...

Adventures in searching: Pfizer's Cambridge site has been searching for members of their oligonucleotide team for a long, long time. I've commented on this before, and looks like they're looking to round out the team with a BS/MS-level oligo chemist and a postdoc in the same group. Good news for those folks.

Neat!: SiPix is looking for an adhesives chemist to look for people to work on the new field of electronic paper. Uh, wow -- sounds futuristic.

Kelly Time!: Oh, our friends at KSR are back to their old, stupid tricks. Are you a chemist? Do you like chemistry? Kelly Scientific would like to know if you'd like to be a microbiologist, an animal care technician or if you're a slightly used chemist. Ugh.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chemjobber C&EN Index: 11/30/09

Industrial positions (non-academic, non-governmental):
Total number of ads: 2
- Postdocs: 0
- Permanent positions: 6

- Ratio of US/non-US: 1/5
Area: 262
Week to week Index trend: Up.

Governmental positions (US, international):
Total number of ads: 1

- Postdocs: 10
- Permanent positions: 0

- Ratio of US/non-US: 10/0
Area: 46
Week to week Index trend: Up, slightly. 

Academic positions:
Total number of ads: 9
- Postdocs: 0
- Tenure-track faculty: 12+

- Temporary faculty: 0
- Lecturer positions: 0
- Staff positions: 0
- Ratio of US/non-US positions: 8+/4

- Area (square cm): 588
Week to week Index trend: Down.

Uh, no: There's one ad for a GC-MS analytical chemist in Virginia. That's it, unless you count...

The worst ad of the year: Wuxi AppTec is one of the leading outsourcing companies in China, if I'm not mistaken. In this week's issue, there's a slightly-larger-than-quarter-panel ad for director-level positions. In 18-point font, a banner reading "WuXi AppTec is Hiring Talents". Not in copy editing, I see. In addition, there's the bottom tagline "WE ARE DETERMINED TO SERVE YOU BETTER", which is a bit of an ominous statement. 

Holiday slowdown?: Academic positions are beginning to peter out a little...

Small college of the week: The University of Wisconsin - Superior (Superior, Wisconsin, student population: 2,800 - SA-LUTE!) is looking for a tenure-track profession in analytical chemistry. You'd be asked to teach a class in the "Chemistry of Natural Waters", which would be a good thing, considering the town is on Lake Superior. If you love the idea of living on one of the Great Lakes (and who wouldn't?), this might be for you. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New poll!

What will 2010 be like in terms of chemist employment? I think we can pretty safely say that 2008 wasn't so great and 2009 stunk.

Answer in the new poll on the left! (and in the comments, if so desired.) Your bold predictions will be saved for internet posterity!

Noise or a trend?: BLS reports lower unemployment

On Friday, the latest unemployment statistics came out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It showed that the official (U3) employment rate for November was 10%, which is lower than the 10.2% reported for October. In addition, the broadest definition of unemployment (U6) was also down from 17.5% in October to 17.2% in November.

It's rather difficult to tell what's a statistical blip and what's a trend. If you clicked on that last link, the displayed graph (above) of job losses appears to argue that losses peaked in January of 2009 and are now (relatively) close to zero. I don't claim to understand the cyclical nature of unemployment, but the potential trend is positive.

Unfortunately for the unemployed (including unemployed chemists), I am unaware of any reports of significant increases in job creation. Furthermore, most economists foresee relatively high unemployment for 2010 and this report from Goldman Sachs' economists indicate that they expect unemployment to peak at 10.75% in mid-2011. For all our sakes, let's hope Goldman is dead wrong on that one.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chemjobber C&EN Index: 11/23/09

Industrial positions (non-academic, non-governmental):
Total number of ads: 1
- Postdocs: 0
- Permanent positions: 1

- Ratio of US/non-US: 0/0
Area: 14
Week to week Index trend: Up, slightly. 

Governmental positions (US, international):
Total number of ads: 0

- Postdocs: 0
- Permanent positions: 0

- Ratio of US/non-US: 0/0
Area: 0
Week to week Index trend: Flat.

Academic positions:
Total number of ads: 23
- Postdocs: 4+
- Tenure-track faculty: 26+

- Temporary faculty: 0
- Lecturer positions: 0
- Staff positions: 3
- Ratio of US/non-US positions: 26+/4+

- Area (square cm): 1672
Week to week Index trend: Up.

Well: One lousy ad for a microbiologist. There is that whole Christmas thing to consider; things get slow around then. 

But if you're thinking about being a professor...: Still lots of ads. Is anyone having any luck obtaining anything? 

Sprechen zie Deutsch?: Something called "Universitat Tubingen" (the University of Tubingen, I imagine) put a big ol' quarter-panel ad in this week's issue entirely in German. While I'm sure that it was appropriately aimed at all the German grad students and postdocs in the US, it was a little weird. Best of luck to candidates for the "Professur fur Analytische Chemie" position, which has something to do with "Chemo- und Biosensorik." 

Your stimulus dollars at work: If I had a penny for every ad looking for professors to work in areas like energy, renewable energy or superawesomesunnygreen energy, I'd be a rich fella. Good luck to these folks who get these positions -- either this will be a trend that will fade like feathered hair or we'll all be driving solar-powered Priuses in ten years. 

Small college of the week: The College of Mount Saint Vincent (Riverdale, NY, student population: 1,927 - SA-LUTE!) is looking for a physical chemist. If you want to teach college in the Bronx, this might be for you! 

Daily Pump Trap: 12/3/09 edition

Evenin', folks! From November 28 until December 3, there have been 33 new jobs posted on the ACS Careers database. Of these positions, 12 (36%) are academically related and none are from our buddies at Kelly Scientific Resources.

Hmph: WuXi makes a push for experienced group leader level positions. Good luck to the unemployed soon-to-be sea turtles out there. Genentech's fishing for young Ph.D. bench med chemist resumes again.

The happiest place on Earth: Disney is looking for a B.S. chemist for water testing in its (duh) Florida water parks. SCUBA certification and the ability to drive a forklift are desired. (No, not kidding.)

Think ink: Quad/Graphics is looking for a B.S.-level chemist with lots of experience with ink R&D. This is one of those niche fields that I know nothing about, but it sounds interesting.

And so well-defended, too!: The US Mint's West Point, NY division is looking for a chemist to analyze metals for coinage. Dude, I can't figure out what educational level they want -- when will the US government realize that their ads are unreadable?