Recession, Playing No Favorites, Takes Toll In All Sectors Of The Scientific Job Market

Academic scientists, their futures uncertain because of budgetary woes in higher education, may be wondering if industrial research and development offers a safer haven. Meanwhile, bench researchers in industry, shaken by recent corporate downsizing and restructuring, may be looking for refuge in academia. The truth is, no scientific environment-not industry, government, or academia-has been spared the impact of the United States' long and deepening recession. The current job market in science

Jean Wallace
Aug 16, 1992

Academic scientists, their futures uncertain because of budgetary woes in higher education, may be wondering if industrial research and development offers a safer haven. Meanwhile, bench researchers in industry, shaken by recent corporate downsizing and restructuring, may be looking for refuge in academia. The truth is, no scientific environment-not industry, government, or academia-has been spared the impact of the United States' long and deepening recession.

The current job market in science is limping badly across the board, say experts interviewed by The Scientist. Only a few scientific disciplines have escaped this year's big chill in hiring, which has settled like frost over many major corporations, academic institutions, and federal research centers.

"This is a very wide-spread recession that's hitting everybody in almost all areas-except for a few areas of science that are hot these days," says Betty Vetter, the executive director of the Commission for Professionals in Science and Technology...