The workforce has changed dramatically since I went to work for Procter & Gamble as a newly minted Ph.D. more than 30 years ago. I was a longtime P&G employee, retiring from there just last year. Today’s chemistry graduates will likely end up working for several employers over the course of their careers. While some may have only one or two employers during their careers, I think many will find employment changes to be the new norm.
The current employment environment is dynamic, not static. And that is not necessarily a negative. New opportunities can be fruitful, especially for those with an entrepreneurial mind-set. I remember a person from my graduate school class who was interested in synthetic organic chemistry. He knew there were markets that were not served by existing laboratories or resources to test or explore certain synthetic pathways, so he built his own small company. He identified a need, had the skills and knowledge to meet that need, and then acquired the business skills necessary to form and run a company. As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”Count me as somewhat less than cheered by a suggestion by someone who just retired from 30+ years at a major corporation that my likely future
I was also a more than a bit flummoxed by this paragraph, when she talks about the value proposition of ACS to industry (emphasis mine):
...Another vital step in developing a strong relationship with industry is ensuring we are providing the products and services that industrial chemical scientists want. Over the past 10 years, the share of ACS members employed in manufacturing has declined by 14%. That prompts the question: What can we do to attract and keep industry members?Uh, that's not the question that I'm prompted to ask. I'm prompted to ask:
- What happened to these members?
- Is it an increase in academic members or a loss of industrial members?
- Are those members who dropped out still chemists, or have they left the field altogether?
- What can we do to help unemployed member chemists?