I was awarded my first degree in summer 1991. Few of my companions from that year have noticed the 'shortages of science students' that seem to worry ministers.
About one-third of my class stayed within the education system seeking some further qualification, many because no work was available. A further third left the field of science altogether, either to convert to other disciplines (such as computing and finance), or simply to become unemployed.
Only a third of those people graduating with a degree in one of the sought-after science categories went on to find jobs in industry that used their hard-earned talents.
Of those who stayed in further education, half studied to complete an MSc degree, myself included. Of these, only two have managed to gain scientific work: both as laboratory technicians in positions advertised as being suitable for those with A-level qualifications. The same situation applies throughout the other scientific disciplines.
This country is not short of science graduates; it is short of the jobs such people need and the will to use those graduates in a way that will benefit the entire country.
17 AugustReuse content