THOUSANDS of students graduate from science-related courses every year. But almost none of them will practice what they’ve learned.

According to the Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines has only 157 practicing scientists and engineers per million population, way below the 380 recommended number of scientists and engineers set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This statistic is a bitter pill to swallow for the many Thomasian science graduates.

Here’s a rundown of UST’s science-related courses and career realities after graduation.

  • While Dean Marilyn Mabini of the Faculty of Engineering admits that the faculty does not always produce practicing engineers, it produces professionals who have imbibed the discipline of the course.

“Many of the Engineering graduates do not end up as engineers, but they are still successful because of their training here,” Mabini told the Varsitarian.

“One example is Tony Tan Caktiong, founder and owner of Jollibee Foods Corporation. He graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree in 1975, but although not a practicing engineer, is still very successful,” Mabini said.

Another Chemical Engineering graduate is Regina Bautista-Navarette, a former Varsitarian editor in chief. The former vice-president for marketing of Jollibee, she is now CEO of Red Ribbon, which has been acquired by the Jollibee conglomerate.

  • Meanwhile, Faculty of Pharmacy Secretary Marife Narcida said that students often take up Pharmacy only as pre-Medicine course.

“Most of our students pursue Medicine. Some of them are working as medical representatives and some are working in hospitals,” Narcida said.

  • Dean Fortunato Sevilla, III of the College of Science said that many Science students also pursue Medicine unless their courses are non-health fields.

“In Chemistry, we produce graduates, but not all of them get chemistry-related jobs. In Microbiology, graduates try very hard to be employed as microbiologists. In Psychology, many get employed as guidance counselors. Only Math and Physics majors get into their desired industrial companies. We can say that more or less, they land in a job related to their profession,” Sevilla said.

The demand for Science and En gineering graduates depends on the quality of education and skills they learn from college. But the deans of all of UST’s science-related colleges and faculties believe that their graduates will succeed in their careers despite not landing in a job of their chosen profession.

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“UST students are diligent. While students from other schools whine on minute details, students from UST work toward excellence,” Sevilla said. Celina Ann M. Tobias


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