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7:30pm on Wednesday, 4th March, 2009:

Science Graduates


A couple of days ago, Corpus Christi college, Oxford, was stripped of its University Challenge title because one of its team, Sam Kay, was not a student for most of the rounds. When he said he was "reading chemistry", what he should have said was "working in Reading for PricewaterhouseCoopers".

There's something about this that annoys me. This guy went to Oxford and got a first class degree in Chemistry, then he went to work for a finance company. That company has nothing to do with Chemistry. Britain has a shortage of chemists, yet some bloke who studies chemistry at Oxford — one of the top 5 universities in the world — decides to spend it working for, basically, an accountancy firm. He should have done a degree in Finance, then! Someone who wanted a career in Chemistry could have had all that training he had! How are we ever going to get the scientists and engineers we need when people who have top notch qualifications in the subject get employed in positions that have no need for those skills?

PWC just want bright people; if you have a first from Oxford, you're bright; therefore, they want you. Great, but the country wants chemists.

Maybe if scientists were actually paid the same as accountants we might get them...

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).