An article came out recently with the projected growth for STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Match) over the next 5 years. (This is obviously the wrong graph since its from 2010- but it was similar so you get the idea).
Focusing on Life Sciences (I am a Molecular Biologist after all). There are supposed to be about 12% more jobs in the life sciences in 2020 than there were in 2010.
So Why is it that over the past month- I've known a large percentage of people who have been told they will be unfunded after the end of the fiscal year on September 30th and thus should be actively looking for a new job!?
We had a farewell lunch for one of our post-docs yesterday. He was told his fellowship wasn't picking him up for another year…. he's only been with us for one year- a one year post doc is virtually unheard of. Two more of our post-docs are leaving next month. One has finished his 3 years and isn't being picked up as a federal employee cause theres no money. The other is in the same situation as the one we just had the lunch for.
Then it really hits home. A month ago one of my fellow contractors was told to start looking for a job- because new funding to cover his salary did not come in. Another one left because his temporary position in IT had run out of money to fund the additional 4th person. I found out from him that our boss was going to have to completely shut down our New Jersey office- thats 5 additional colleagues gone.
The Monday after I got back from vacation it was my turn. I had a long talk with my boss. The short story being. The funding sources have just decided they're not giving us next years money ($1.5 million). My client can barely afford his own salary. My boss is trying to find other people with funding to cover me- but he's very pessimistic about the ability to do so- because a full 50% of the biology division is unfunded at current- and any funding that comes in must first go to pay for federal employees who are tenured. With 2.5 months of this fiscal year left to go, its looking gloomy.
So I am officially looking for a new job. Even with the ever present 'were stuck in a lease til april' hanging over our heads- the true job search is on. With the possibility that if I find the right job in the right place- we will take it and whatever monetary consequence we need face for breaking said lease.
So where exactly is this almost 15% growth!?
Looks to me like the US government is finally tasting what has happened to the rest of the country over the past 6-7 years…. which seems like a bad sign for the rest of the economy. We're taking it as a sign to get the heck outta dodge while we can.
Good luck and Prayers to all my colleagues looking for employment, and those who still have their jobs- may this disease not touch you.
As for me…. If you know anyone looking for a highly skilled Cell & Molecular Biologist with 8 years of experience- let me know!!