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Old 10-20-2010, 06:03 PM   #141
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You did. You quit and freed up a j*b for someone who needed it more than you.
There you go!
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:07 PM   #142
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And it's not just that we are subsidizing their education but that's also one less admissions slot available for someone who would use the education here.
In science and engineering, grad students are really apprentice workers and they spend very little time in classes (maybe first year or two). Generally, they are working extremely hard to advance their prof's research program.

American grad students, who have good alternative options and are paid next to nothing as a grad student, are really subsidizing the US research program.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:21 AM   #143
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And it's not just that we are subsidizing their education but that's also one less admissions slot available for someone who would use the education here.
I don't think these foreigners that come here for masters and Phd's are taking a seat from an American student. I think they are here because there are no Americans wanting to fill those seats, and the academic-industrial complex demands warm (extremely intelligent) bodies to fill those seats. Fluent English skills are secondary.

This was my take from grad school and talking to a number of professors who I worked for or collaborated with (and continue to do so now on a limited basis in private practice). They will even waive GRE requirements for a number of programs for Americans. This is at a decent engineering school (no MIT though).
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:39 PM   #144
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I don't think these foreigners that come here for masters and Phd's are taking a seat from an American student. I think they are here because there are no Americans wanting to fill those seats, and the academic-industrial complex demands warm (extremely intelligent) bodies to fill those seats. Fluent English skills are secondary.
How much are they willing to pay for extremely intelligent Americans? Looking at pay, working conditions, and job satisfaction, how do these jobs compare to Finance, Medicine, and Law? i.e. if the academic-industrial complex "demands" these people, is it willing to pay enough to get them away from other careers?
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:55 PM   #145
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Simple, MBAs can steal earn more money than engineers/scientists...
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:01 PM   #146
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How much are they willing to pay for extremely intelligent Americans? Looking at pay, working conditions, and job satisfaction, how do these jobs compare to Finance, Medicine, and Law? i.e. if the academic-industrial complex "demands" these people, is it willing to pay enough to get them away from other careers?
I don't know what the going rate is for sure.

10 years ago as I was finishing up my undergrad I was offered a Research Assistant position to pursue a master's in engineering and then a phd if I wanted it. With the RA position I could have received a full ride (tuition, fees, books/computer stipend), employee benefits including health insurance, and a combination of paycheck and grants/scholarship totaling $30,000 per year for a nine month gig that was 20 hours per week. That is technically on top of what I would have had to do towards my thesis or dissertation, but all the grad students I knew had overlapping theses and research work. But that leaves 3 months off during the summer for working hourly on research projects, other internships, or work elsewhere.

At the time, competing salaries ranged from $36k/yr for the government to probably $45k/yr at a job in industry (for a BS holder) for 12 months at 40 hours a week.

I would have taken the RA position, except I decided to go to law school more or less on a whim. In hindsight, the RA position would have been more lucrative I think, and I might be FIREd by now. I recall having a discussion with my adviser that they REALLY wanted more domestic students in their graduate program, hence the large grants they were offering for highly qualified domestic applicants to entice them into grad school.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:03 PM   #147
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How much are they willing to pay for extremely intelligent Americans? Looking at pay, working conditions, and job satisfaction, how do these jobs compare to Finance, Medicine, and Law? i.e. if the academic-industrial complex "demands" these people, is it willing to pay enough to get them away from other careers?
Some jobs in finance, medicine and law pay well but not all. Only a small fraction of the work force can ever hope to fill the well-paying jobs in those fields (after all less than 2% of American workers make more than $200K a year IIRC) so these jobs do nothing to sustain the middle class (back on topic) and they are not the answer. The majority of the workforce has to look elsewhere to find well paying jobs. Science and engineering offer good opportunities for people who want a shot at making a decent living. DW is a scientist and she makes more than the average family doctor.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #148
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Some jobs in finance, medicine and law pay well but not all. Only a small fraction of the work force can ever hope to fill the well-paying jobs in those fields (after all less than 2% of American workers make more than $200K a year IIRC) so these jobs do nothing to sustain the middle class (back on topic) and they are not the answer. The majority of the workforce has to look elsewhere to find well paying jobs. Science and engineering offer good opportunities for people who want a shot at making a decent living.
I know a lot of lawyers that are just scraping by and wishing they had the typical salaries of (still employed) science/engineering grads. District attorneys and non-profit lawyers MAY break $50k a year after quite a while of practicing. Assistant attorney generals are currently getting around $65k/yr after 5-7 years of practicing. The guys working at "door" practices (taking any case that walks in the door) often start out under $50k as well, and may not make a lot more unless they start their own practice. And a lot of my classmates that went on to take jobs paying $100k+ right out of school are now realizing they are missing out on life and voluntarily taking a 50% paycut to work for a firm that only requires around 40 hours a week and understands you want a life outside of the practice ("lifestyle" firms).

In the meantime, most of my science/engineering friends are doing very well with better work schedules and/or similar money. Especially anyone who lucked into the right fields.

In terms of the theme of this thread - I would say a science/engineering background gives you a high probability of leading a middle-class lifestyle. Law - not so much. I know a lot of law graduates and lawyers that don't practice law (myself included) for a number of different reasons. But if you become partner at a successful big law firm, you can be pulling way more than most other science/engineering grads.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:24 PM   #149
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... In the meantime, most of my science/engineering friends are doing very well with better work schedules and/or similar money.
I really enjoy engineering work than marketing or business development. After receiving an MBA from a prestigious university, I switched to product management as a marketing manager about 10 years ago. The job was very stressful. The R&D department continued to challenge every product features proposed. The Sales people adamantly complained the lack of product features and competitive pricing to gain market share. Management constantly exerted pressure to identify and develop new markets. After two years of misery, I decided to return to engineering. Life has been more pleasurable.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:29 PM   #150
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Simple, MBAs can steal earn more money than engineers/scientists...
Many engineers that I know became managers after receiving MBAs and are earning more than they did as engineers.
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:06 AM   #151
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I know a lot of lawyers that are just scraping by and wishing they had the typical salaries of (still employed) science/engineering grads. District attorneys and non-profit lawyers MAY break $50k a year after quite a while of practicing. Assistant attorney generals are currently getting around $65k/yr after 5-7 years of practicing. The guys working at "door" practices (taking any case that walks in the door) often start out under $50k as well, and may not make a lot more unless they start their own practice. And a lot of my classmates that went on to take jobs paying $100k+ right out of school are now realizing they are missing out on life and voluntarily taking a 50% paycut to work for a firm that only requires around 40 hours a week and understands you want a life outside of the practice ("lifestyle" firms).

In the meantime, most of my science/engineering friends are doing very well with better work schedules and/or similar money. Especially anyone who lucked into the right fields.

In terms of the theme of this thread - I would say a science/engineering background gives you a high probability of leading a middle-class lifestyle. Law - not so much. I know a lot of law graduates and lawyers that don't practice law (myself included) for a number of different reasons. But if you become partner at a successful big law firm, you can be pulling way more than most other science/engineering grads.
As a lawyer teaching Engineers, married to a physician and with a daughter doing a molecular biology PhD it's an apples/oranges comparison. I won't say that public service and pro bono publico is unknown among engineers but no one I ever met studied engineering out of a desire to be in a "helping profession" Numerous studies show little or no financial benefit in an Engineering Ph.D., or even in a research MS program. Most professional MS degrees are really continuing engineering education i.e. Good BS level coursework using the most modern tools
Most frontline engineers are doing the equivalent of lawyers reading depositions or reviewing documents. Professional work but tedious.
My SIL is an engineer in one of these positions.

The bigger bucks are in engineering management, which demands a different skill set. Only a fraction of engineers have the capability to make the shift.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:31 AM   #152
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PhD versus BS isn't all about the money.

As I posted before, the decision to earn a PhD allows you to work on the cool stuff. With a BS degree, you get the hard/fast deadlines. You have to put up with more crap. It's more of a treadmill.

Of course, as always, there are exceptions.

So money aside.... How do you want to spend your life ? That is the question.

here's another way to look at it...

> Conceived by PhD's
> designed and detailed by M.Sc's
> implemented by B.S's

Nothing wrong with any of the positions. Financially when all the items are calculated the lifetime pay is (perhaps) similar. But what job would you like to have ?
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:52 AM   #153
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PhD versus BS isn't all about the money.

As I posted before, the decision to earn a PhD allows you to work on the cool stuff. With a BS degree, you get the hard/fast deadlines. You have to put up with more crap. It's more of a treadmill.

Of course, as always, there are exceptions.

So money aside.... How do you want to spend your life ? That is the question.

here's another way to look at it...

> Conceived by PhD's
> designed and detailed by M.Sc's
> implemented by B.S's

Nothing wrong with any of the positions. Financially when all the items are calculated the lifetime pay is (perhaps) similar. But what job would you like to have ?
I don't think you can generalize your experience MasterBlaster.

The high-tech company I worked for never hired a PhD engineer. They only hired a few with masters degrees and those didn't start with a much higher base salary and didn't start in a more advanced position. If you went on to get an advanced degree while working (and some did), you could carve out a superior niche for yourself, but position was determined by how quickly you learned and demonstrated skill. The company did tons of leading edge work, but it was ahead of what you could learn at University so you couldn't hire people with the know-how, you trained them in-house. They hired the smartest people they could, but almost exclusively at bachelors level.

I have a feeling there are quite a few high-tech companies out there who don't feel the need to hire PhDs as most of the specialization is learned in-house.

Plenty of high-tech companies hire their specializations learned within other companies too, regardless of pure academic credentials.

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:01 PM   #154
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Audrey:

I don't disagree with you. As I posted there are lots of exceptions. YMMV

However let me just say this, If you are considering a PhD perhaps you would like to work where PhDs are valued. If you hire into a turnkey operation, of course, they have little use for a PhD.

I would consider a PhD if I was into the research/conceptualization end of things.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:12 PM   #155
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Audrey:

I don't disagree with you. As I posted there are lots of exceptions. YMMV

However let me just say this, If you are considering a PhD perhaps you would like to work where PhDs are valued. If you hire into a turnkey operation, of course, they have little use for a PhD.

I would consider a PhD if I was into the research/conceptualization end of things.
I think it totally depends on the company you are hiring into. I got to do a ton of high-level design and conceptualization, and so did many others. No PhD. This was a very innovative company - no turnkey stuff there. We built very advanced test and measurement systems. The company did not value PhDs as hires, although we had plenty of them as customers LOL!

The main company founder had a PhD in engineering because he came from a research lab of a major university, so he had to have one to lead research there. His founding peers had masters degrees. I wonder if the avoidance of PhD employees was related to their years in research? The bias was pretty strong actually.

I suspect there are quite a few innovative, entrepreneurial high-tech companies that have the same bias and also do not do basic research.

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Old 10-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #156
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Or you can forget about going to college. I just had a plumber replace all the faucets in our house. He charged $110 an hour. Secure job with no risk of being outsourced. He can't find any qualified, trustworthy help.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #157
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> Conceived by PhD's
> designed and detailed by M.Sc's
> implemented by B.S's
I am a practicing patent attorney, and I can assure you that this is not always the case. Some inventors are PHDs, but the majority are not.
Many of the members sitting on IEEE and ITU standardization boards do not have PHDs.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:52 PM   #158
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According to my first-semester-freshman civil engineer 101, a lot of those wannabe engineers get thoroughly discouraged by their (required) chemistry, physics, and math courses....

When I was in college (EE) some used to call engineering "Pre-Business"
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:17 PM   #159
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I am a practicing patent attorney, and I can assure you that this is not always the case. Some inventors are PHDs, but the majority are not.
Many of the members sitting on IEEE and ITU standardization boards do not have PHDs.
I don't doubt you. I was trying to distinguish between the types of careers that different levels of education bring. Usually it's not worth it to get more education money wise.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #160
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When I was in college (EE) some used to call engineering "Pre-Business"
Reminds me of a really nerdy joke that used to float around the EE building.

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