OT: Is STEM the big lie

User Forum Topic
Submitted by no_such_reality on May 17, 2016 - 12:59pm

We tend emphasize STEM on the site and in general, people talk about STEM shortages and STEM demand.

But is STEM another big lie?

Is there a shortage or is there a surplus? And in either case are you better off than those without a STEM degree.

Several studies are pointing towards there actually being a surplus and that the issue really boils down to skills mismatches and a queuing problem.

First, we have the IEEE report that says, Computer and Math fields wages have largely stagnated since 2000.

and shows the following regarding jobs:

And the BLS reporting on STEM shortage Similarly, the National Academy of Sciences Committee, reports DOD says no crises.

And from Slate STEM Ph.Ds jobs stagnant

Here's a picture, thousand words:

And from the Economic Policy Institute rebuking Microsoft's STEM shortage claims.

Submitted by deadzone on May 17, 2016 - 3:53pm.

This topic has been debated countless times already on this site. Bottom line is, yes, the idea of shortage of STEM graduates is propaganda and not backed up by factual data. The assumption is this purpose of this propaganda is corporate interests wanting to increase hiring of H1B visa workers.

Submitted by joec on May 17, 2016 - 5:17pm.

Other than people needed to write code for tech startup/apps/etc, are any of the other "hard" engineering sciences really in a short supply? (EE/Materials/Chem/Mechanical/etc?)

One thing I think is that companies also aren't interested in training or have folks learn since everyone has a short term focus IMO so if your skillset is hot/in demand now, there is a shortage since it's a new area, but most folks who have graduated and worked a few years are being passed over.

This is all my wild guess/speculation though.

With less trading on wall street, I'd assume math and physics types are in a slightly lower demand as well.

Submitted by svelte on May 19, 2016 - 6:24am.

joec wrote:
Other than people needed to write code for tech startup/apps/etc, are any of the other "hard" engineering sciences really in a short supply? (EE/Materials/Chem/Mechanical/etc?)

That's the key - STEM is too broad. To detect shortages/gluts it really needs to be broken down further.

Submitted by ltsddd on May 19, 2016 - 6:35am.

svelte wrote:
joec wrote:
Other than people needed to write code for tech startup/apps/etc, are any of the other "hard" engineering sciences really in a short supply? (EE/Materials/Chem/Mechanical/etc?)

That's the key - STEM is too broad. To detect shortages/gluts it really needs to be broken down further.

Choose your passion carefully.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 19, 2016 - 9:03am.

ltsdd wrote:
svelte wrote:
joec wrote:
Other than people needed to write code for tech startup/apps/etc, are any of the other "hard" engineering sciences really in a short supply? (EE/Materials/Chem/Mechanical/etc?)

That's the key - STEM is too broad. To detect shortages/gluts it really needs to be broken down further.

Choose your passion carefully.

Passions choose u?

Submitted by The-Shoveler on May 19, 2016 - 10:36am.

Passion?

Don't know, If you live in San Jose, or most of Socal, a CS degree (or even a Cert) and hard work you can make a decent living.

Find something you think does not totally suck and you could see yourself doing 5-6 days a weeks for the next 20-30 years and is paying a decent living for the foreseeable future.

Else open your own biz.

You can chase your passion on the weekend.

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 19, 2016 - 10:42am.

The-Shoveler wrote:
Passion?

Don't know, If you live in San Jose, or most of Socal, a CS degree (or even a Cert) and hard work you can make a decent living.

Find something you think does not totally suck and you could see yourself doing 5-6 days a weeks for the next 20-30 years and is paying a decent living for the foreseeable future.

Totally agree with this. Everyone has to eat and pay the bills.

The-Shoveler wrote:
Else open your own biz.
"Hanging your shingle" a good option for someone who possesses a professional license (i.e. CPA, physician, attorney, RE Broker, etc) AND has many years (15-20) experience in their fields (plus all the "professional contacts" which go along with that tenure). "Self-employment" is a fool's game for the vast majority of early-career worker bees.

The-Shoveler wrote:
You can chase your passion on the weekend.
Exactly!

Submitted by The-Shoveler on May 19, 2016 - 11:20am.

You also have to keep in mind there are going to be Bad day's sometime really bad, sometimes Bad weeks or even months.

It's not always fun even in the best Jobs.

If you quit the first time someone yells at you or you fail miserably at a task your probably not going to make it at much of anything.

Not everyone gets a trophy in the real world.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on May 19, 2016 - 12:36pm.

The-Shoveler wrote:
Passion?

Don't know, If you live in San Jose, or most of Socal, a CS degree (or even a Cert) and hard work you can make a decent living.

Find something you think does not totally suck and you could see yourself doing 5-6 days a weeks for the next 20-30 years and is paying a decent living for the foreseeable future.

Else open your own biz.

You can chase your passion on the weekend.

Unrealistic expectations. That's why there are so many depressed people.

People who find their "passion" boast about it and that leads everyone to wonder "what's wrong with me?"

Submitted by mixxalot on May 22, 2016 - 11:50pm.

Sales and marketing is best area of STEM jobs if you are extroverted.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 23, 2016 - 7:41am.

Try to align yourself with the interests of power and money.

My advice...

Submitted by SK in CV on May 23, 2016 - 9:59am.

This discussion has been a bit tech/engineering focused. There is certainly a severe and growing shortage in medicine.

Submitted by NotCranky on May 23, 2016 - 10:29am.

It's best to thoughtfully adjust your life to your personality, not one a singular "passion" . Most peoples lives end up being some blend of survival and escape anyway.

Submitted by livinincali on May 23, 2016 - 12:34pm.

SK in CV wrote:
This discussion has been a bit tech/engineering focused. There is certainly a severe and growing shortage in medicine.

That's because there's a lot of political risk with becoming a doctor. Obviously the medical system is not sustainable the way it is so it really depends on how the government solves the problem. Do you want to take on $200K+ of medical school cost if you are unsure of your future earnings potential or working conditions.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 23, 2016 - 8:35pm.

livinincali wrote:

That's because there's a lot of political risk with becoming a doctor. Obviously the medical system is not sustainable the way it is so it really depends on how the government solves the problem. Do you want to take on $200K+ of medical school cost if you are unsure of your future earnings potential or working conditions.

You think there are risks that average physician salaries are going to drop to below those of any other STEM career? How so?

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 23, 2016 - 9:07pm.

Doctor salaries for primary care are starting to suck relative to debt.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 23, 2016 - 9:13pm.

Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

Submitted by mixxalot on May 23, 2016 - 9:21pm.

thats just to start! Never mind specialities like Anesthesiologists make shitloads of cash like over 500K+ to put someone to sleep for surgery! If a doc is any good and keeps up training and skills, they make the most $$$ unless one becomes a Wall Street Bank$ter or private equities jockey or high end corporate law partner.

Tech pays ok but there is no advancement, age discrimination and constant outsourcing, H1b from India and China and no long term job stability!

Submitted by no_such_reality on May 24, 2016 - 7:08am.

Being in MD is a worthy career. There are some risks though.. Particularly with universal care. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/03/...

Submitted by livinincali on May 24, 2016 - 9:28am.

SK in CV wrote:
Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

My point isn't that the current salaries are bad. They're reasonable compared to debt. The issue would be most general physician salaries are much lower in the rest of the world. Depending on the country it could be 30 to 50% lower. If our goal is to reform the medical system to something more like the rest of the world (many of you advocate for this), then there's a significant risk that your salary will be lower than the current salaries.

If we're trying to control medical costs it's hard to imagine workers in the medical fields will be better off. Maybe if the government wipes out the debt and indirectly lowers salaries you might be about the same as before. It's hard to say what the impact would be of a single payer control cost system if we ever get there.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 24, 2016 - 9:41am.

SK in CV wrote:
Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

Not everywhere.

If your making 135k with 300k debt and working a,lot, it's no bueno

Submitted by SK in CV on May 24, 2016 - 9:47am.

no_such_reality wrote:
Being in MD is a worthy career. There are some risks though.. Particularly with universal care. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/03/16/how-much-are-junior-doctors-paid-and-why-are-they-threatening-to/

That's the UK. Nobody has suggested a UK type system here. Medicare for all (which has been suggested) would still have all private doctors. Doctors whined like crazy 52 years ago when medicare started. They thought it would be the end of their income. It was just the opposite. That's when doctors made it to the 1%.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 24, 2016 - 9:52am.

livinincali wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

My point isn't that the current salaries are bad. They're reasonable compared to debt. The issue would be most general physician salaries are much lower in the rest of the world. Depending on the country it could be 30 to 50% lower. If our goal is to reform the medical system to something more like the rest of the world (many of you advocate for this), then there's a significant risk that your salary will be lower than the current salaries.

If we're trying to control medical costs it's hard to imagine workers in the medical fields will be better off. Maybe if the government wipes out the debt and indirectly lowers salaries you might be about the same as before. It's hard to say what the impact would be of a single payer control cost system if we ever get there.

It's not hard to imagine workers in medical fields being similarly situated to where they are now, even if medical costs are controlled. The big part of our costs aren't going to providers. Providers don't get $600 for bandaids. Providers don't get $45 for a Cialis tablet. Providers don't earn millions of dollars as hospital administrators. Providers don't earn the 15 to 20% of medical insurance premiums that goes to pay insurance company overhead.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 24, 2016 - 10:32am.

scaredyclassic wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

Not everywhere.

If your making 135k with 300k debt and working a,lot, it's no bueno

$135K is a very low salary for almost all specialties. $300K of debt is much more than most leave school with. And there are some relatively simple paths for some pretty simple debt relief.

Submitted by bobby on May 24, 2016 - 11:24am.

SK in CV wrote:
Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

big cities? source?
maybe in the boonies to attract young docs but big cities? hard to believe.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on May 24, 2016 - 11:27am.

Political risks.... Give me a break.
The reasons more people aren't studying is because it's an academic commitment few people want to make.

Submitted by SK in CV on May 24, 2016 - 1:01pm.

bobby wrote:
big cities? source?
maybe in the boonies to attract young docs but big cities? hard to believe.

Source is offers my daughter's co-workers have received, 2 in the bay area, 2 in LA, 1 in San Diego and 1 in Phoenix. All pediatricians finishing their residency.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on May 24, 2016 - 1:16pm.

100k bonus sounds high.

My wife had an offer of 300k in a small town and 120k in a big city a while back.

I was,rooting 4 the small town...

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 24, 2016 - 2:25pm.

SK in CV wrote:
livinincali wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
Not really. At least in big cities, new docs are commonly getting $100K sign on bonuses. Internal med and Peds starting at $175K plus. It can be a lot of debt, and takes a long time, but if those kind of salaries suck, I'd like to know what professions are getting good starting salaries.

My point isn't that the current salaries are bad. They're reasonable compared to debt. The issue would be most general physician salaries are much lower in the rest of the world. Depending on the country it could be 30 to 50% lower. If our goal is to reform the medical system to something more like the rest of the world (many of you advocate for this), then there's a significant risk that your salary will be lower than the current salaries.

If we're trying to control medical costs it's hard to imagine workers in the medical fields will be better off. Maybe if the government wipes out the debt and indirectly lowers salaries you might be about the same as before. It's hard to say what the impact would be of a single payer control cost system if we ever get there.

It's not hard to imagine workers in medical fields being similarly situated to where they are now, even if medical costs are controlled. The big part of our costs aren't going to providers. Providers don't get $600 for bandaids. Providers don't get $45 for a Cialis tablet. Providers don't earn millions of dollars as hospital administrators. Providers don't earn the 15 to 20% of medical insurance premiums that goes to pay insurance company overhead.

Agree, SK, but you forgot to mention the hundreds of millions/billion(s)? in taxpayer funds that got sunk into the cost of setting up and operating the state and federal health exchanges under the ACA.

This "sunk expense" has all been wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy who mostly can't find their way out of a brown paper bag, let alone be able to do their jobs and solve problems timely and competently. Add in the beefing up of bureaucrats at state and county Medicaid/Medi-Cal agencies, the beefing up (or soon-to-be "beefed up" . . . not sure this has happened yet, lol) IRS personnel to process all those tens of millions of (IRC) Forms 8962 and 1095A, B and C as well as millions of "12C letters" to taxpayers, all due to the ACA. Add in the beefing up of state AG's offices in those states who opted in on "expanded Medicaid" (for the sole purpose of filing and collecting on "Estate Recovery" liens) and "We, the People" are now burdened with a healthcare industry which is a burgeoning behemoth of layers upon layers of additional bureaucracy with LESS providers to choose from than before the ACA! As a result of this colossal mess (the biggest mess this country's leaders have ever made, IMO), the cash-rich biggest health insurers in the US have been sitting on the sidelines in many states and cherry-picking the states (one by one) which they decide they will dip their toes into the water in (for a year at a time) to see if it's "financially feasible" for them to continue to sell policies there for the long haul. Alas, these little "experiments" conducted by Big Insurance (plus the numerous ill-fated "healthcare-cooperative" experiments) in the past ~4 years have not ended well thus far :=0

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 24, 2016 - 2:28pm.

Why do Peds get paid so much? Most kids in the US are on Medicaid/Medi-Cal (even if their parents have private insurance).

Is it because so many Peds have retired??

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