We're oversubscribed and overextended right now, too_ more students are going through the science mill than can ever acquire jobs doing science. If every PI is taking on one new graduate student and one new postdoc every year over a career spanning 30-40 yearsâ€¦well, that's a situation that is rather ruthlessly Malthusian.
It is definitely not a practical career, eitherâ€”the excessively long training period and relatively low salaries mean that, in a purely economic sense, it would be more profitable to plunge into a blue-collar job straight out of high school.
(From a piece by PZ Meyers, science blogger extraordinare.)
These are the things that college students need to hear before they choose to go to graduate school. Granted, I probably would have come anyway, but it would have been nice to know what I was getting into.