I was tempted to put this in the job seekers thread we got going, but I figured it might not get enough views.
I have a very good shot at getting a position at my old alma mater (my undergraduate, not graduate) as a research assistant in a biology lab. It actually seems like interesting research, and (in theory) as an added bonus I’ll be easily able to finish my master’s (on the assumption that one of my benefits is free tuition…I’ve never known any university job to not include that (aside from work study/TAing,) but you never know.)
However, by itself it IS a dead-end job. There is obviously no promotion potential, since the only person above me is a professor, and I don’t imagine the salary to be too outstanding.
That being said, since I know lots of dopers have worked in university labs, what can I expect my average salary to be? I’m guessing it will be in the $30,000-$33,000/year range (it’s in upstate NY, if that means anything), but I can also imagine it being a few thousand below that. While not great, it’s enough that I can easily pay all my bills, including student loans, and still have disposable income (the area has a very cheap cost of living.) I would probably also take a part-time weekend job, most likely waiting tables, since I’m doing that now.
Secondly, would it be bad form to take the job for the sole purpose of getting my master’s? The research does seem interesting, but it isn’t in something I personally want to get into. I would do the job only for as long as it takes my to get my master’s and then find a better job. I might feel bad taking a job with the knowledge I’ll quit in just a few years, but on the other hand, this guy knows my resume and education, and can probably surmise that I want to finish my master’s, and see this as a perfect chance to do that. And besides, it’s not that hard to find a research assistant.
And lastly, I don’t want to get myself into a situation where I accept this one, only to get offered something better. I’ve stopped applying to other jobs now, and probably won’t until the interview process is over, but there are still a couple dozen resumes I’ve submitted that I might hear back from.
So…good idea? Bad idea?