Friday, March 13, 2015

Hey, all you job-seekers, you don't want to work in chemical R&D

From my weekly dose of pain (i.e. a Google Alert for "skills gap"), this wonderful little tidbit from an interview of a Deloitte consulting executive, Duane Dickson:
DC: Does this issue vary from country to country? 
Let’s take R&D in the chemical industry—it’s something I know pretty well. In the United States, no one wants to work in the companies. One of the reasons we have a skills gap is because no one really thinks about it from the start. And I can tell you it’s a big problem, and it’s on the minds of the CEOs of every industry. 
But in the U.S., over time the more mature industries cut costs. As a result, they cut R&D spending. And in the process of making those cuts, they create a spiral of less and less growth. Growth is really what it takes to bring new skills on board. When companies are growing, they have a little bit of surplus capital to invest in the future. When companies are hustling, they’re really just trying to make the numbers every quarter. So that’s the U.S. situation. I would just call it an aging demographic.
Something tells me that there are very few unfilled R&D positions at major chemical companies in the US. 


  1. Well, when someone can earn 2-5 times as much blabbering away as an off-shoring consultant versus toiling at an uncertain job as a bench scientist for the chemical industry, yeah, I can see his point.

  2. It's not "the aging demographic" - it's shitty management by meme-dependent idiots, crappy regulation by gov't hippies, and an overabundance of taxation by the Bureaucrat Class upon the Potomac.

    The "aging demographic" implies a shrinking workforce. But the problem with the US is rather that we have been intellectually polluted with the idea (thanks, Haas) that people should generally be considered surplus to requirements. If you're too busy kicking people off the island, your society isn't going to progress, and you lose the guys that can build radios out of coconuts.

    What's truly bizarre is the US has it both ways now - we're kicking people off the island (economically speaking), and we are importing historically unprecedented quantities of additional people - large numbers of whom will draw government aid. These are not sound actions conducive to the health of the nation.