Monday, March 5, 2012

Madeleine Jacobs on jobs, 2012

Also in this week's Chemical and Engineering News, Madeleine Jacobs' year-in-review/year ahead article, with the crucial #chemjobs sections:

From 2011:
We are already well into 2011—the International Year of Chemistry. I am thrilled that chemists finally have our year to celebrate, but my elation is tempered by the continued sluggishness of the economy. Many sectors of the economy are improving, and the chemical industry is showing substantial profits, but we are still not seeing hiring of chemists at a fast enough pace. I have lived through five recessions in the chemical industry, and, until this last recession, we always experienced a reasonable recovery that involved adding back jobs that were lost in R&D. In this recession, everyone in the chemistry enterprise suffered, but unlike previous recessions, many people agree that we have experienced a paradigm shift and that jobs in R&D will not be substantially recovered in this country.  
We will continue, therefore, to coordinate, prioritize, and enhance ACS services to help members succeed in this rapidly changing and globalizing workplace. Efforts will likely include offering an integrated package of prioritized career development services, disseminating enhanced market intelligence to members on workplace trends, improving member awareness of services, and exploring new efforts to facilitate chemistry-related job creation via small-business and start-up innovation. 
And from this year's section:
On the challenges side of the ledger, ACS members are facing the most difficult employment situation since the society began keeping statistics about four decades ago. It is clear that, despite some promising signs in hiring, the world is still recovering from the Great Recession.
In addition, there are troubling macro trends. A new study from the Census Bureau’s Population Reference Bureau reported that the share of American workers in science and engineering professions fell slightly in the past decade, ending a steady upward trend in the proportion of workers in fields associated with technological innovation and economic growth. Technological and scientific innovation is one of the U.S.’s core strengths, providing the nation with a competitive edge. We cannot allow this core strength to decline.
[snip] ACS is doing everything in its power to help its members thrive in the global workforce, whether they are students or seasoned career professionals. In 2012, ACS is offering a new publications benefit for all members and upgraded career offerings through a new comprehensive, modular, and interactive series of “Career Pathways” workshops to guide members at all stages of their careers and transitions. We are also launching a training program for budding chemical entrepreneurs on the basics of creating or growing a start-up as well as a resource center to support entrepreneurs by providing access to information, expertise, and services.
I'm not an expert on ACS' offerings to members on jobs, but I'm pretty sure those "what we're doing for you on jobs!" paragraphs are pretty much the same.


  1. "ACS is doing everything in its power to help its members thrive in the global workforce"

    And therein lies the problem, the ACS has nothing in its power to help its members find jobs. Nothing.

    Maybe a nice job site, and some great t-shirts, but neither of those actually create value.

    I was a bit surprised, based on:, that the head of ACS made $775 K (page 8).

    I guess the ACS is learning from biotech companies!

  2. ACS is a mega-publishing house masquerading as a professional organization for the tax purposes.

  3. Ding-ding-ding!

    I think we have a winner.

  4. I would love to watch Ms. Jacobs attempt to justify her total compensation at the non-profit ACS Printing Co. Generally accepted Industry standard? I don't buy it. Value for services? Nope. ACS executive salary standard? Obscene and insulting to unemployed ACS members.

  5. The ACS's power to help members find jobs is obviously not as influential as we would all like. That being said, when I was looking for my first "real job" after grad school, I remember finding some useful resources through the ACS, such as the webinars on different types of chemical employment and their materials on resumes and interviewing.

  6. I have to say... I actually got an interview at one of the National meetings. And while I didn't get the job then, I got the interview experience and built a connection from that time which helped land me my first one.

    1. I had 2 interviews at the one that I attended. No interviews, but a lot of neat connections made.

      I think they're worth a lot, actually. (So there's a place where I disagree with boooooooooya). But that's hardly a year-to-year accomplishment.