Sunday, June 16, 2013

What's Important? Data Analysis

Thanks again to everyone who wrote in with their two (or three) most important job criteria.

We had a final tally of 42 (!) respondents, who gave a total of 94 answers. Here's the much-vaunted pie chart I promised on Friday:


1. Many people wanted "meaning" behind their daily work. There're a lot of terms one could use to describe that special feeling of fulfillment - they're all included in the largest pie wedge.

2. Only a tenth of you indicated salary or benefits as part of your criteria. Two percent mentioned promotions or advancement. Shocking, really, especially in a down economy.

3. The "Misc" category included responses such as autonomy, lack of bureaucracy, morality, health, food.

4. Prediction: If I offered a 5-year job working on cures for neglected diseases, starring top-flight, team-oriented colleagues located 10 minutes down the street from your house, most of you would take it.


So, in the end, have we vindicated Mr. Sturgeon's beliefs about modern science workers? I believe we have. Interesting work and collegiality really do seem to matter most!*

*Limitations: Now, this only surveyed 42 chemists, so I'm missing out on the other 90,858. I'm well aware that the survey only caught 1) chemists reading blogs, 2) chemists on Twitter, and 3) chemists who could comment on blogs during (presumably) working hours. Not exactly perfect conditions for such a study. My 'analysis,' such as it was, had no tests for accuracy, and no way to filter out trolls. C'est la vie.

Challenge: I'd love to see this survey writ large...wouldn't you? Perhaps a larger journal or scientific society could issue the survey to their members (lookin' at you, ACSScience...).

Readers: Questions, comments? Feel free to contact me (Seearroh_AT_gmail).

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