Sorry for my lack of posting for a while. I have a ton of material to discuss, but just don’t have the time. But I couldn’t resist posting this one. Bear with me, as it takes some setting up.
Some of you know, or know of, Mark Regets, retired from the National Science Foundation. In his heyday, he was NSF’s biggest booster of the H-1B program (a high bar!). Well, both Mark and I recently got into using Twitter. I’ve had an account for years (@matloff), but didn’t really use it until an unrelated issue came up.
A week or so ago, journalist Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) and I were discussing PhD production in the US. Though Noah has been a big promoter of H-1B in his Bloomberg View column, the conversation wasn’t really about H-1B or foreign students. But I did state that we are overproducing PhDs, and in jest I wrote “Look at all those PhDs working as barristas!”
Well, Mark saw that, and said this a myth, the PhDs are mostly in decent jobs, etc. I replied that it was just a joke, but seriously many PhDs are UNDER-employed.
I am quite active in the R programming language, which is widely used in the data science field. The annual worldwide R conference, useR!, is currently in progress in Brisbane, Australia. One of the attendees tweeted, I believe seriously, the following:
BARISTA: What are you doing today?
B: Oh I love R, I just moved from SPSS and Stata!
(SPSS and Stata are two commercial products that are fast losing ground to the open source, better quality R.)