‘Apply for our science job!’ A guide to inane job ads


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Depending on who you talk to, the current job market is either the best in years, the worst in years, or somewhere in between. So that’s helpful.

Unfortunately, most information about potential jobs comes from job postings that aim to boast about the company, list requirements that no single candidate could ever fulfill, and generally get your hopes both up and down at the same time.

Job postings evoke a small but nonzero amount of excitement. You start picturing yourself in the role: imagining a montage of the important work you’ll do, the feeling of satisfaction as you recline in your desk chair with your arms behind your head, and how you’ll really stick it to your former thesis adviser. At the same time, you remember the 20 other jobs for which you’ve applied this week, only one of which has even sent you a perfunctory, “We hereby confirm that we received your submission. This message has been auto-generated regardless of whether we received your submission.” Maybe your nonzero excitement should be a little less nonzero?

To help you decode the science job market—and hopefully make you feel better about your place within it—here’s every science job posting ever:

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