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On December 11, 2016, the 2017 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 516 positions.
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1. HELPING CHEMISTS FIND JOBS IN A TOUGH MARKET. 2. TOWARDS A QUANTITATIVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE QUALITY OF THE CHEMISTRY JOB MARKET.
|Adapted from table 48 of the 2016 Survey of Earned Doctorates|
Meanwhile, Urschel was also periodically checking in with [CJ's note: MIT mathematics professor Michel] Goemans about the assignments for his reading credits. But “I’m, like, in season, so I’m busy,” Urschel says. “Michel was like, ‘Send me updates, let me know how it’s going.’ I’m really just skimming things. I’m completely blowing off this other stuff.” And the reading that Urschel was “blowing off” covered topics that would be included on his doctoral qualifying exam, which was coming up in February. If Urschel failed that test and didn’t subsequently pass in a certain period of time, he’d be kicked out of MIT. “Basically I’d be screwed,” he says.
After the Ravens’ finished that 2015 season 5-11, well out of the playoffs, Urschel spent all of January cramming for the qualifying exam. He’d work at the chalkboard in his house for 12 hours a day, reviewing the material, making stacks of notes. Then he’d have Louisa Thomas, his soon-to-be fiancée, quiz him into the night. When the test day finally arrived, Urschel was “nervous like I’ve never been before a football game,” he says. It was an oral exam, so he had to stand in front of three professors who peppered him with questions for three hours.Also, this hilarious little tidbit, which shows that Mr. Urschel really is a graduate student:
But leaving MIT was still hard. The first time Urschel left for OTAs, he asked an MIT friend to periodically rearrange the things on his desk, to make it look as if he were still there. If anyone asks, just say vaguely that I’m around.John, don't let grad student secrets out!
My watch began in 2007 just when the financial markets were on the verge of collapse and the Great Recession was about to commence.
Working closely with ACS management, the board of directors had to take immediate action guided by the ACS finance department. Those were difficult days that required hard choices such as freezing the defined contribution retirement plan, capping the society’s financial contributions to the retiree medical plan, calling for a hiring freeze along with a workforce reduction, and eliminating open requisitions for new hires. Without these difficult steps, the society would have become technically insolvent in 2008 to 2009.
As employment in the chemical industry began to track the downward spiral in the general economy, we ramped up the many services for unemployed chemists and established an entrepreneurial initiative to help members interested in chemically based start-ups.
Fortunately, those challenging years are largely behind us, allowing for a laser focus on all the wonderful programs that ACS offers.It's not clear to me that 1) services for unemployed chemists were significantly ramped up, or that spending on these services was dramatically increased and 2) that these challenging years are largely behind us. Naturally, people are going to point to the lower ACS Salary Survey unemployment rates, and I am going to point back to the fact that the median ACS member salary has stagnated when measured against inflation. 'Twas ever thus, including senior ACS volunteer leadership patting themselves on the back for unclear outcomes and NOT preparing the Society's domestic members for the next recession.
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.)