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requirements to job applicant

Postby Val » Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:21 am


Hi everyone,

I was thinking what makes a difference in the requirements to a job applicant in academia and in industry.

When I did a PhD, I was overwhelmed with the demand which my PhD advisor put on me for the successful outcome of my scientific work. It was like being thrown into the deep water to learn swimming. I frantically scrambled to get a scientific result, and on the way I learnt what does that mean to take responsibility for the successful outcome of the project, and to take responsibility for planning own career.

I got a chance to work in industry setting. I worked alongside the fresh bachelor graduates. The bosses gave incomplicated tasks to the fresh graduates, and did not demand the solution of the problem when the graduates reported the problem as unsolvable. The bosses in industry believed that the progress can be made by small incremental improvements in the same direction, and that the great mind was not required. The young engineers finished work at 5 o'clock and went home without worrying why the device or process does not work. Their work was seemed to be evaluated by how much of effort (and time) they put in, not by the end result.

This was my impression which I got in Australia; perhaps in the US it is different. But the conclusion can seemingly be applied to both countries: the industrial managers value the compliance of a worker to a certain behavioral standard more than his productivity, and they (managers) are prepared to sacrifice the productivity for easier manageability of the workers (who can sometimes come up with the painfully radical ideas). Anyone can be trained to do the work; however, the easy manageability quality of the worker is what cannot be created by the regular manager.

In other words, Ivy League education and top-journals publications are good, but are insufficient to secure employment; the right attitude is what secures the job for the applicant.

Am I wrong on this conclusion ?

Regards,
Val
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requirements to job applicant

Postby MPB » Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:03 am


"the industrial managers value the compliance of a worker to a certain behavioral standard more than his productivity"

Val, this seems to be the point of nearly everything you post to this forum.

"In other words, Ivy League education and top-journals publications are good, but are insufficient to secure employment; the right attitude is what secures the job for the applicant.

Am I wrong on this conclusion ?"

Rather than speculting repeatedly about the same thing, why don't you look into it? There must be a literature on success rates in academic or other careers for students who graduate from Ivies vs. students who graduate from lower-tier research universities. For undergrad education, I recall reading someplace that each year of college adds to lifetime earnings, and that going to a highly selective college adds the equivalent of another year. I don't recall any mention of whether the students from the more selective schools were any better at being subservient drones to their industrial masters.




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requirements to job applicant

Postby Andrew » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:14 pm

Val,

I think you are mostly right about this. What you do in industry is nowhere near as difficult as what you do in academia. Brilliance is therefore not as highly prized or necessary. So clearly we select for other things, as we should. The moderately bright team player will be more valued than the prima donna in industry. The opposite is true in academia.
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requirements to job applicant

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:09 pm

I'd make one comment, although agreeing with Andrew. Prima Donna's are NOT desirable. But, if it is a brilliant person who CAN WORK WITH OTHERS, than this is a person who would be snapped up by companies. The words "Prima Donna" imply that a person has an attitude of indepedence, instead of interdependence as required in industry.

Dave
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