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What the heck do you do with a PhD anyway....?


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#1 dandoe123

dandoe123

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 11:08 PM

I'm a 3rd year PhD student in immunology and still AT LEAST good 2 years away from graduating and I thought why not waste some time and contemplate life as a PhD graduate.

I became a PhD student with the full intent of taking the "traditional" route (5-6 years of PhD, 3-5 years of post-doc, many many years of non-tenured professorship and finally getting tenure)... mostly because well, I suppose I didn't know better and that's what "everyone" seemed to be doing. I'm quickly realizing that in basic research science, hard work doesn't always equate to success. I'm still leaning towards a life in academia, but like I said, I'm still AT LEAST good 2 years away from graduation and who knows how I'll feel then... so I ask...

WHAT THE HECK DO YOU DO WITH A PHD ANYWAY?

I've heard of people toiling away making minimal pay for an additional 3-5 years as a post-doc in academia and finally moving into industry (I was told post-doc positions in industry is almost impossible to get).

I've also heard of people going into med school upon graduation ... for better pay, flexibility, desire to work clinically... etc.

I've also heard of people becoming patent lawyers.

How common are these "alternative" career routes and are there any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.




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