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Feb28-11, 06:20 PM
P: 16,966
Quote Quote by kanato View Post
Changing the system from something that is built upon dishonestly attracting individuals would be ethical. Would changing the system to just be upfront and honest about job prospects cause it to collapse? If so, are you happy being part of that system? I wouldn't be.
I think this is an inaccurate portrayl. Even before I picked a field, let alone an advisor, I examined and thought about the job prospects and that was a factor in my choice. It is not as though the information were unavailable or even difficult to obtain. If a person makes a critical life choice like their field of study out of ignorance or whim then it is not really "the system" that is at fault if it turns out to be a suboptimal choice.

Now, there may be a few dishonest people in the system, and there are certainly many ignorant or biased people, and those people may even hold positions of power within the system. But the system itself is fundamentally not capable of hiding information about job prospects. If an individual enters the system without that knowledge then that individual made an important choice rather carelessly.

Quote Quote by kanato View Post
Here's another thing to think about. Many of the people who are grad students and postdocs in physics are foreigners. They have an easy time getting a visa but an even harder a time getting a job since industry doesn't usually want to sponsor visas. So after they live here for a few years becoming highly skilled in their fields, they end up leaving back to their home countries for permanent positions. It seems to me like a rather short-sighted way to use US tax dollars is to bring in foreigners, train them for a few years, then send them home, all just to get a few research papers published while they are here.
I don't know the statistics, but anecdotally my company sponsors visas and green-cards quite often, including several I have hired and others that I didn't hire but are on my team. The cost of sponsoring a visa is relatively minor if the employee is worth it.