Friday, 11 April 2008

What's With All the Money-Hungry Students?

This may be an unfounded generalization, but I find that science students tend to be more materialistic than average. I get this impression from witnessing the behavior of science students because I myself am a science student. I am doing a double degree, which means I study two Bachelors degrees at once, both a commerce degree and a science degree.

In a recent mathematics class I overheard one guy saying, “I used to study genetics but I quit it and did math because there's no money in genetics. At least, that's what I think. I'm just in it for the money.”

Another female friend of mine who is doing a double degree is arts and science is the most materialistic girl I've ever seen. She claims that the only point of university is to earn money and that her dream was to marry a rich man and get a giant engagement diamond. She told me she would then spend all day shopping and playing with the kids. Sometimes I wonder what kind of man would be na├»ve enough to let his spouse stay at home and leech of his money, but when I think about it many men do this, and many men will probably be unaware of the spouse's underlying motives. Her ostensible motive will be romantic love but her real motive will just be resource acquisition. I live with the hope that not all women are like this, but the whole issue of heterosexual relationships and marriage is something I've postponed till I'm older. I therefore have no girlfriend at the moment. Anyway, this female friend at university is materialistic, yet I sometimes wonder why a materialistic student would study an arts degree. I also wonder why she would study science and especially I wonder why she would major in pathology. Majoring in a life science would likely set her up as a medical researcher. According to an interview with Dr Sabine Piller at the Australian Academy of Sciences, "The very most important thing for a career in science is to just have a love for it. You have to have a passion for the job, because there is not much funding for science and not much money in it. So you really have to love what you’re doing – you have to be curious about what you’re doing. That, I think, is what gets you there."

So then if scientific research doesn't pay much, as Dr Piller says, why would my female friend do it? Perhaps she mistakenly thought that a major in pathology would make her a licensed pathologist. Pathologists who make diagnoses on blood samples etcetera are licensed medical practitioners and they are certainly paid a lot. However, to become a licensed pathologist you need a medical degree, not a science degree. This may be the mistake my female friend made. I know of another friend who did a course at Victoria University called Legal Studies and expected to become a lawyer. Legal studies is not the same as law, the latter gives you a license to practice law while the former doesn't, yet this friend honestly thought she was going to be a lawyer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unless your materialistic female friend is a real hottie, there is NO way in hell she's gonna get what she wants. It's OK to be materialistic if she got the goods to back her up. Otherwise, it's just another win-lotto dream.