Another installment of: Sometimes I wish I hadn't gone to grad school.
Recently I've had the opportunity to meet more professional women from industry, and talk to them more than I had before. Some of them do not have PhDs.
And yet. They are doing the same kind of work that a person with postdoc experience would do. They are designing new assays and doing research. They are using multiple techniques.
Multiple techniques! And here I thought that without a PhD, I'd be doing nothing but multiplex PCR, day in and day out.
(In fact, I know some people who have PhDs who do nothing but one technique, day in and day out).
They are paid well. They dress well. They get per diem when they travel. They work with other women because the imbalance is less severe. They have all the toys at work. They don't work weekends.
And so I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking. If I had known how much the industry would change, and that there were industrial bachelors or masters degree level positions where I could do a multitude of interesting things, I might have thought twice about grad school.
If I had any idea what grad school would actually be like, I'd like to think I wouldn't have gone. I'd like to think I would have chosen the chance the get paid more right off the bat and move up sooner based on abilities and experience, rather than irrelevant diplomas and other superficial measures.
The one shining light in all this is that I know I get more freedom. And I get to read.
Unfortunately I can't go back now, and there's no guarantee that even in industry all the suffering to get the degrees and postdoc experience would pay off.