In discussing two studies on STEM career-related issues, Science Careers' Jim Austin says it's likely that many young investigators leave the STEM fields for lack of opportunities there. "Career-changers are often advised to avoid negativity. Admitting that you can't find a job is a bad idea for job seekers; few would answer that way even on a confidential survey," Austin says, referring to the sources of data for both studies. "Furthermore, anyone who has spent time around aspiring scientists will find the suggestion that they're unemployable ludicrous; socially inept scientists do exist, but most are earnest, personable, and very smart," he adds.
Over at the Science Careers' forum, readers laud Austin's analysis. Ana says that issues young STEM workers face also negatively affect STEM employers. "I am very frustrated when seeing excellent candidates turned down and open positions staying opened for several months," Ana says. "A few years ago I would have said supply and demand is the reason for this evolution … but seeing positions opened for so long makes me think of a mentality reason."
In P.C.'s opinion, "STEM workers are being transformed from professionals to commodities, often hired as temp workers with minimal benefits. It is in part due to the trend of management being non-STEM workers that moved to management."
Bill Jones follows on that point, saying "administrators in my science department at my university get better pay, bonuses, and benefits [than] the postdocs and scientists who … bring in the money."