So, I love science and I don't regret pursuing a degree in chemistry. But as I get closer to graduation, reading about jobs really scares me. It seems like this is the progression of your career as a chemist: 1) Undergrad for 4 years. Bust your balls studying harder than anyone else because your major is very difficult. Lots of extra work getting research experience. 2) Graduate school for 4-6 years. Work 70 hours a week making less than minimum wage. 3) Post doc for 5 years. Make less than if you had just gotten a 4 year business degree. 4) Get very lucky, land a permanent position. Make decent money, but it took 10 years of education and 15 years total to get to this point. Ok, I'm not trying to sound like a tool, but the reason I went into science in because I am smart and I enjoy the material. Most people do not have the intellectual ability or even the work ethic to get through those 4 steps above. Yet it seems like exceptional talent in science is rewarded only with bad pay and worse conditions. I mean, it's not about the money.... except when it is about the money. I just wonder if, 8 years from now, I'm going to be wishing that I had gone to med school or law school instead. Because I am academically capable of pursuing any career... I just happened to choose the one with bad rewards. At this point I have pretty much ruled out a career in academia because they seem to make so little money for the extensive education and exceptional individual that is required for such a position. I've even considered becoming a patent lawyer instead of a research scientist. Yes, you need to do something you love, and I love science, but there comes a point where you have to say that 10+ years of your life and a low payscale for your talents just isn't worth it. Or have I just been listening to too many cynical scientists?