Archive for the ‘decisions’ Category

Got a PhD in science? Now what?

Leaving academia does not mean you have ‘failed’, says Tim Nielsen. He offers some career advice to young scientists.



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But here are a few examples that have worked out well:
When Scientists Are Mad About Each Other
Science couples who overcame the two-body problem collaborate in the lab and the home
Scientific American, Feb 14, 2014 |By Katie Worth

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!!


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Turns out that as a PhD chemist your chances are better than as a biosciences PhD.  Seems that 15,000 bioscience PhDs are produced each year versus 2000 chemistry ones!

The ACS recently had a webinar on this topic : http://acswebinars.org/doctoral-glut  (soon available as an archived broadcast)

Forbes wrote an article based on the the webinar: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2012/11/12/chemistry-job-market-likely-to-rebound-before-biosciences/

And some bloggers also had a podcast discussion on the same topic after the webinar: http://chemjobber.blogspot.ca/2012/11/podcast-doctoral-glut-see-arr-oh-and.html

Well worth pondering if you are in a PhD or postdoc position. One remark that stands out is that it is the student’s responsibility to pay attention to job prospects and make sure that they know all the possibilities that are out there.  Not getting a professorship is not a failure -there are many more types of careers for PhDs that you think!

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The March Scientiae is on the subject of Role Models.
[Note: a Scientiae is what they call a blog carnival on Science Blogs – what is a blog carnival? well, it is a subject based set of blogs written by bloggers on their own blogs and the links to the various blogs is compiled by the organizer that month (organizers rotate the task)]
Back to regular programming…
So the March Scientiae is looking at role models that influenced the careers of the contributors. Made me think that the advice of a role model is a good place go to when you feel that your career needs a change. Even if they are dead people like say Madame Curie – the type of role model you choose/chose says something about your own dreams and aspirations! Listen to them!

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The South African Mail and Guardian Online just published another article on the “leaky pipeline”:
Leaving the lab
They note that women are still leaving the lab at a rate higher than men:

A study for the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry has found that although 72% of the women surveyed intended to pursue a university career in the first year, by their third year this had slumped to 37%.

This was not the case for their male peers. The study found 61% of them wanted to pursue a university research career in their first year; this fell to 59% by their third year.

Some of the reasons are:

Two recently published studies investigate why these women are leaving. About 450 molecular bioscientists (all female) and 610 chemists (male and female) took part. All were either studying for PhDs or had just finished.

More women than men had come to view academic careers as too solitary and the fight for permanent posts too competitive. One in 10 of the men felt “powerless to resolve significant issues” with their supervisors, whereas this was the case for 17% of the women.

More women than men felt isolated or excluded from, and sometimes even bullied by, their research group. When their experiments went wrong, the women were more likely to “internalise failure”. And more women than men were discouraged by the “all-consuming nature of science”.

However, one post-doc claims:

“I don’t see women leaving academia as a defect or as cowardice. I see it as wisdom. With a science PhD, it’s possible to do a host of other rewarding and important jobs. Women now feel they can give up gracefully and go on to do something more fun.”

let’s make lemonade out of the lemons…

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do it for the money…

Some people choose careers based on financial rewards…or regular hours…or for the beauty.

Here are two different views:
“I do it for beauty”
“I do it for money”

My own at the moment is that I do it for the 9-5 hours because it fits my son’s school schedule…

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A new blog carnival was started covering all things academic – what is a blog carnival, you ask? It is a review of the recent posts in a certain subject area much like a review article.

Praxis moves around from blog to blog each month. Might be interesting to follow if you are feeling the urge to go academic.

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