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Business and Industry Present Great Opportunities for Specialists Today

Graduate Work Usually Required For Research But Field Not Over-Crowded

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

This is the fifth of six articles written for the CRIMSON by Donald H. Moyer '27 of the Alumni Placement Bureau on "Business and Industry as a Field of Opportunity for College Men".

The keen competition for markets among businesses today calls for high quality products and services and for the greatest possible efficiency in operations. Materials must be used to best advantage and costs of manufacture and distribution kept at a minimum if any company is to survive and make a profit. New uses for materials must be discovered, new products developed, and old products must be revamped and refurbished to meet and to whet the public taste for novelty and perfection. Back of this feverish struggle to excel, to beat the other fellow, to win customers, is the intensive search for and investigation of facts which we call research. It is a function applying to all activities of business and industry.

Research in science and engineering is the backlog of the productive industries. Chemists, physicists, metallurgists, some biologists, and engineers will find several types of positions open to them depending somewhat upon the nature and extent of their training. Some of the largest industrial companies devote a part of their laboratories to fundamental research on basic scientific problems. Here are openings for the Ph.D., in chemistry, particularly, to engage in pure scientific investigation unhampered by the pressure of the management for commercially profitable results on short order. Men for this work must be outstanding as independent investigators.

The industrial scientific or engineering laboratory devoted to the study and development of products and manufacturing processes offers the greatest number of opportunities for research scientists. Here again the doctorate is the usual ticket of admission, but the master's degree and even the bach- olor's degree command some attention, provided the man's scholastic record is one of particular excellence.

For the past several years the demand for qualified research chemists has far exceeded the supply, Industrial physicists, on the other hand, have found few openings in research, except that recently those prepared in electronics and communication engineering have found increasing opportunity in radio companies and in geophysical research for the oil companies. Industry appears not to have fully awakened to the possibilities of physical research, but the awareness is gaining slowly. Metallurgists are in demand from the steel companies when business is good, and the demand for these men somewhat exceeds the supply of them at present. Biological research is a function of the pharmaceutical companies, and the rubber, sugar, and fruit industries particularly. An advanced degree is almost essential to research in this field, and some of the opportunities require a willingness to locate in the tropics or sub-tropics in isolated stations where living conditions are most unpleasant and even hazardous to health. For research in all the sciences the Unites States Civil Service Commission and the State Civil Service departments provide opportunities by competitive examination.

For men trained in Economics, Statistics, and the other social sciences openings may be found for the investigation of social and economics conditions both under Federal and State and private auspices. Graduate study is nearly always a prerequisite. Sales and advertising have recently developed the field of marketing research to provide a basis for the more efficient distribution of goods. Training for this work is now given in many business schools, but many men already experienced in selling and advertising have found here a chance to use their practical knowledge as investigators.

Research of whatever sort is the function for the specialist, usually a man trained beyond the limits of an arts college course. It is staff work, confining and exacting and is more in the nature of professional work that any other business function, with financial rewards about the same except for a very few top men. The profit motive extends to the industrial laboratory as it does to other business functions and the freedom one has had in the academic laboratory is greatly curtailed. The practical and experimental scientist rather than the theorist will find satisfaction in industrial research.

Management will appear as the subject of the next and concluding article of this series in the CRIMSON. The Alumni Placement Office will gladly answer inquiries based on these discussions

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