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How to encourage young people to pursue careers in statistics / high tech?

What do you think? Do you agree with Bill Gate's statement? Many math PhDs don't find it easy to get a job. Do recruiters agree with Bill?

See Bill Gates' question on LinkedIn. As of now, it generated more than 3,000 answers on LinkedIn.

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Comment by Theodore Omtzigt on March 16, 2008 at 12:56pm
Clearly there is no simple answer to Mr. Gates' question. The reason why a doctoral scientist or engineer has a hard time finding a job is because the collective of companies that seek these skills has valued the contribution of the scientist and engineer at the level that is many times less than a manager, lawyer, MBA, or medical doctor. And as a central tendency that is probably correct. In a large business the science or engineering is a tiny fraction of the cost to bring a product to market. If I find a cure for cancer tomorrow, all the pieces that need to move to deliver that cure to the market absolutely overpower the scientific "ah-ha" moment of a single scientist. The fact that thousands of man hours were spent by the scientific community getting to the ah-ha moment is hard to quantify. More structurally, the work of the scientific community is the competitive advantage of a nation, and if you don't feed the bottom, you will get a brain drain to the disciplines that do, like law and MBAs. It is much simpler to value their contributions. When a lawyer structures a $10B deal for Exxon, the value is much more tenuable than a scientist finding the cure for cancer.

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