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The Opportunity Cost of Academia

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science job adAs I contemplated a future of begging for grant money and grading exam papers today, I wandered over to Monster.com to find out how the other half works. Academic post-doc jobs in my field, geophysics, typically start at around $45k-$50k per year. So you can imagine the size of the drool pool on my keyboard as I read this ad for an oil and gas company from Piper-Morgan Associates recruiting firm that is offering $120k-$135k per year and requires a mere four-year bachelor's degree (plus experience), compared to the eight to ten years or more that academics rack up in college. With this job, not only would I be able to pay off my student loans before I retire, but I could have a "work/home life balance." Did you hear that?? Work/home life balance! I like the way the phrase rolls off the the lips, work - life - balance. Puts a smile on your face, too, huh? Why, I could have a social life. I could buy new designer clothes instead of shopping at Target and pretending to be ironic. I could leave town on the weekends. I could live in an apartment where my living room doesn't double as my bedroom and roaches aren't merely extra pets. Why did I want to live the academic scientist life again? I forgot. There must have been a good reason, right? Right?
Submitted by elementlist on Dec 26, 2005
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