I've spent the day going through all the job advertising and recruitment sites on the web, and it is depressing. Out of the dozens of jobs that come up during a search for science jobs, only a handful require a PhD, and only two aren't in the pharmaceutical industry. That's right: two. 2. Dos. Deux. Two, out of nearly a hundred. Just as well, the pharma companies seem only to want "quality assurance" and "process validation" people. I don't even know what those terms mean. From the vague job descriptions attached, it doesn't seem like the recruiters know, either.
That's another gripe I have. I'm used to academic job descriptions, where they basically tell you in the ad what you'll be doing: SEM, AFM, synthesis of specific compounds, this project or that project, which can be looked up. But these recruiters seem to write job descriptions to be as vague as possible. Sure, everyone wants "a team player" and someone with "excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills" but what the hell would I actually be *doing* with my day if I worked there? No clue.
I can't really complain about the job search to friends, because they usually just look at all those years of schooling, and assume that I would be able to find a job quickly and without any problems. I mean, just look at all that education and those degrees! They don't understand that all those years and those degrees mean I've educated and specialized myself out of all hope of gainful employment.
I'm thinking seriously of leaving the PhD off of my CV, but then how would I explain the huge hole in the first half the decade? And then, the pay would be pitiful. Even the jobs that require a PhD pay barely more than I was getting as a post-doc. I'm incensed! For years, I've been told that academia pays shit, but that industry would make up for its less flexible schedule/less overall research and experimental freedom with higher pay. Well, that's crap, apparently. Or maybe the fact that academia pay scales actually look good says a lot about my job options right now.