While I’m based in Australia this is quite relevant here too; I know so many chemical engineering grads in my year who couldn’t find work relevant to their field - there simply hasn’t been enough growth in the new development of technologies to employ them - too little business confidence in new ideas or methods so other than improving their scientific literacy, for most of them who did it to get a job their education has been wasted (post-grad studies aren’t an option for many who already have a $20,000 HECS debt hanging over their heads). I consider myself very lucky to have found a relevant position in this financial climate – but I was in the same boat for 8 months after graduating.
We need to find ways of encouraging and developing more efficient and smarter technologies for things like energy consumption, recycling and reducing the impact of waste and find ways to get them to the public. While us grads have the knowledge for how to flesh out an idea technically, we have no knowledge of how to get funds for it, who to ask for advice and how to develop a business plan – it’s just not part of the curriculum.
No one seems to be stepping up to the table – since they changed the program to require 12 weeks relevant engineering work experience perhaps only a quarter of the penultimate year students has been able to find a vacation work position – unless they come up with a solution like paying an engineering firm to come up with a real or imaginary project for them to work on that means ¾ can’t even graduate next year. The lecturers keep saying the will, but have still haven’t done anything to contact companies about it. I managed to get one company on board to offer vacation positions to 2-3 students in exchange for control of their final year research projects, so if they tried I’m sure they could make a difference. Their apathy is aggravating.(via thecraftychemist)