(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at email@example.com; will run every other Friday.)
1. HELPING CHEMISTS FIND JOBS IN A TOUGH MARKET. 2. TOWARDS A QUANTITATIVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE QUALITY OF THE CHEMISTRY JOB MARKET.
...I think it’s important for graduate students to realize that everyone has these doubts and bad stretches. Everyone has these moments when they wonder what they’ve done to their lives, but having these thoughts is not a sign that the exact failure you’re fearing has arrived. That doesn’t mean that thinking about your purpose in grad school is a bad thing, but it probably is a bad thing to try to do it at periods of peak emotional stress. If you feel that it really is getting too much, definitely talk to someone. Universities have people around for just that purpose – more so than in my day, fortunately – and if you find yourself wondering if you should reach out like that, then odds are that you should. Do it. I wish some of the people I worked with had, or had been able to.
Any meaningful graduate degree is going to be a test of your abilities and your resilience. Recognize this, and avoid the two extremes. On one end are the macho types whose response is “Eat stress for breakfast! That’s what I did in my day! If you don’t have the fire in your belly you don’t belong here!”. And on the other end are the voices, some perhaps external and some internal, telling you that you’re a failure already, an imposter, and that you’re never going to measure up anyway. These are two different sets of lies, and everyone has to steer their course between them.This is the sort of thing that we should be reminding 3rd years and 4th years in graduate school on a regular basis. Derek's been there, I've been there, probably your PI has been there too. It's okay to ask for help.
I am a [redacted] year graduate student working towards a PhD in [redacted chemistry field]. [redacted] I was pondering the idea of doing summer internships during grad school to get experience and hopefully make connections. My PI is fully supportive. Do you have any feedback/recommendations/or any general input?
Thanks for your message - it's a good question. Before you begin, make sure to have a resume and a cover letter and an introductory e-mail/phone message.
Both are difficult, but #1 may prove to be somewhat more fruitful. Cheers, CJReaders, did you do an industrial internship during graduate school? How did you apply? Let's hear it.
Position 1 (Miro Group): Dynamic properties and chemical reactivity in confined spaces with application to surfactant-based separations and catalysis inside molecular and 3D nanoporous systems.
Position 2 (Vlaisavljevich Group): Study of molecules and materials with complex electronic structure for applications in heavy element chemistry, information storage/electronic devices, catalysis, and environmental sensors.Links and full descriptions here. Best wishes to those interested.
The figure of 6 million job openings comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report. BLS issues the survey results on a monthly basis, with the latest published report—the January 2018 issue—providing data as of November 2017. The latest job opening figure shows 5.9 million job openings in the United States, which is little changed from the previous 24 months. However, it is important to note that these job openings are not the result of new jobs coming online; further, the implication that these jobs go unfilled is highly misleading. The openings result from a variety of factors, most of which can be characterized as frictions in the labor market.
The job openings are the result of:
That means 5.2 million job openings are the result of separations. This leaves approximately 700,000 unaccounted for, but presumably relatively new job openings.
The 5.2 million job openings that result from separations are actually an indication of a healthy economy. As the above indicates, the majority of these openings are voluntary. They occur because an employee perceives a better opportunity in another firm or another location. The number of separations tends to increase as the economy improves and declines when the economy goes into recession. As Figure 1 shows, the number of job openings dropped significantly during 2008 and 2009—the period of the great recession. Since 2009, the number of openings has been climbing steadily, reaching around the 6 million mark in an economy where the stock market is at record highs and unemployment is at near-record lows.
Nevertheless, if all these openings—whether they result from separations or from the creation of new positions—went unfilled, then that would present a serious problem for the economy. However, the same BLS job opening report also provides the count of new hires made each month: For November 2017, BLS reports that employers hired 5.5 million workers. This leaves approximately 400,000 job openings that went unfilled during November, which represents 0.2 percent of the U.S. labor market. It is important to note that the November 2017 figures are very consistent with the monthly data since January 2016. In fact, hires have exceeded separations, and the openings they create, for every month since 2010. A mass of jobs in the United States are not going unfilled; a relatively small fraction of job openings are taking relatively longer than the desired time to fill.I need a couple of days to absorb this, but it is remarkable to have such a popular stat punctured a little bit.
Number of Job Seekers: 422*
Number of Jobs: 26
Recruiter Booths: 15
Résumé Reviews: 316*There was a change to the way that job seekers were counted, so job seeker/jobs ratios can't be compared anymore.
Mock Interviews: 139
|Credit: Photographer Jasper Juinen, for Bloomberg|
41%: Percentage of graduate students with symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety, compared with 6% of general population
39%: Percentage of graduate students with symptoms of moderate to severe depression, compared with 6% of general populationFrom the Nature Biotechnology article "Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education."
|Credit: Kevin Gahan|
We have one son who graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry after a total of nine years of college. We have another son who graduated from WyoTech with degrees in Automotive Technology and Management after a two-year program right after high school. After five years at their respective jobs, which both thoroughly employ their respective educations, guess which one makes more money? Trade school wins.
Bronwyn ClearProud parents, I bet.
llinois manufacturers need about 27,000 workers a year, for the next five years, just to keep up with retirements. The only problem is, there aren't 30,000 workers with the skills to fill the jobs.
"Manufacturers need 22,000 production workers and 5,000 engineers every year, for the next five years between now and 2027 just to cover retirements of the baby boomers," Jim Nelson of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association said. "So there are jobs available."
Nelson said there's a need for truck drivers, welders, craftsmen, manufacturers, supervisors, and a whole lot of other workers....
...But not enough of the workers who are available in Illinois have the skills that employers need. The biggest reason for that, Nelson said, is that Illinois high schools are still focused on sending kids to college.Maybe Mr. Nelson is using a very broad definition of an engineer, but 5,000 a year? Really?
Though American laboratories stopped producing nerve agents around 1970, after the production of so-called third-generation nerve agents like sarin and VX, Soviet scientists continued their work for two decades, producing a “fourth generation.”
The Novichok nerve agents came in solid form, like a powder or thick paste, and would not register on the chemical detector paper that NATO troops used.
A chemist who worked in the laboratory developing Novichok accidentally inhaled fumes while filling a syringe, and collapsed. Though he was injected with an antidote and eventually awoke, he suffered from depression and epilepsy and died five years later, leaving Vil Mirzayanov, a scientist who helped develop the agent, deeply disillusioned.
“Antidotes exist, but what does antidote mean?” Mr. Mirzayanov, who had leaked the project to the press and later immigrated to the United States, told Sky News on Tuesday. “You’re saving a person who has been exposed to this gas — but temporarily, not to die this time. But he will be an invalid for the rest of his life.”..."eventually." Yikes!
Evonik Industries declared victory for its exclusive synthesis division late last year when it announced the renewal of a long-term supply contract with Eli Lilly & Co. The German firm bought Lilly’s TippecanoeLaboratories in Lafayette, Ind., in 2010 and had been supplying the drug company with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)....
...The repurposing of the Tippecanoe site was largely accomplished under the direction of general manager Clive Whiteside. Whiteside, who started his career at ICI, describes the cultural conversion as a protracted effort. But he emphasizes that one element of culture has remained constant at Tippecanoe—a midwestern work ethic.
“One of the things that helped us be successful—that we inherited from our previous owner—is a high-quality workforce with know-how and commitment,” Whiteside says. “America’s Midwest breeds hardworking people who are good at working together. And that is a huge advantage for a service company.”Here's hoping that more people turn out to recognize that fact...
One of my work duties is to give safety training on the principles of electrostatic safety; ESD training we call it. The group of people who go through my training are new employees. These folks come from all walks of life with education ranging from high school/GED to BS chemists & engineers to PhD chemists. In order to be compliant with OSHA and with what we understand to be best practices, we give personnel who will be working with chemicals extensive training in all of the customary environmental, health and safety areas.
I have instructed perhaps 80 to 100 people in the last 6 years. At the beginning of each session I query the group for their backgrounds and ask if it includes any electricity or electronics study or hobbies. With the exception of two electricians in the group, this survey has turned up a resounding zero positive responses.
Admittedly, there could be some selection bias here. It could be that people with electrical knowledge do not end up in the chemical industry. This agrees with my informal observations. But I’m not referring to experts in the electrical field. I refer to people who recall having ever heard of Ohm’s law. One might have guessed that the science requirements for high school graduation may have included rudimentary electrical concepts. One might have further suspected that hobby electronics could have occupied the earlier years of a few attendees. Evidently not. And it does not appear that parents have been very influential in this matter either...I messed around a lot with electronics when I was a pre-teen, had a lot of fun with electronics kits. (Incidentally, Snap Circuits are a pretty cool educational tool for kids.)
1. Your firm failed to ensure that laboratory records included complete data derived from all tests necessary to assure compliance with established specifications and standards (21 CFR 211.194(a)).Always empty the recycle bin!
Your firm lacks basic laboratory controls to prevent changes to paper and electronic records for your over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. You were not able to provide analytical test data for three batches of [redacted] spray and one batch of [redacted]. We found that you created certificates of analysis (COA) for these four batches before they were manufactured and tested.
When questioned, your firm acknowledged falsifying the analytical test results on the COA you used to support release and distribution of [redacted] spray and [redacted] drug products to the United States.
In addition, we found three electronic data files in the electronic recycle bin of the stand-alone HPLC system you used to test finished drug product [redacted] spray. Because this instrument lacks back-up and audit trail capabilities, we could not determine how frequently test data obtained prior to “official” batch testing was discarded. You were unable to explain why these electronic files were deleted.
|Credit: Andrew Wright|
..."If you're not raising wages, then it just sounds like whining," he told a group of business people at a Rotary Club meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D., according to the Washington Examiner.
..."Are any of you planning to raise wages in the next year or two? Or are you just complaining about you can't find workers?" Kashkari asked the group. "If you look at North Dakota in the oil boom — if you raise wages, people respond and you can find workers."
What's the job market like for chemists? Dude -- it's always bad.*
How bad is it? How the heck should I know? Quantifying the chemistry job market is what this blog is about. That, and helping chemists find jobs.
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(*For the literal-minded, this is a joke. Mostly.)