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Non-traditional careers in Sciences


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#1 dandoe123

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Posted 14 January 2005 - 06:11 PM

Just out of curiosity...

has anyone here with a PhD opted out of the "traditional" career route and ventured onto a more "non-traditional" career... or are thinking about it?

wondering whether most academic professors/advisers are open to students "branching off" and doing something different or are completely opposed to the idea and call such people "sell-outs".

thanks for any input.

#2 julie

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 01:20 AM

I don't know about the academics attitude towards "branch-off", but one thing is sure : no one seems to know what happens after PhD! Having asked the question to my supervisor, I've actually been told "don't worry about this now, you'll have time for this later". :blink: Great!! So I don't know where I am going, but I am going! I thought the whole point of having a formation (whatever the subject) was getting a job afterwards. Well it seems I was wrong, I'm being way too trivial!! After all, who cares about paying bills and stuff and finding a job that's not an everyday burden??

Gosh they freak me out!!!!!!

Anyway! I've been simulation-looking for a job on the web, and I can assure you it won't be easy (at least in the area I'm living in). Maybe we should try collective suicide...

Edited by julie, 18 January 2005 - 01:21 AM.


#3 jadefalcon

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 05:59 AM

no one seems to know what happens after PhD! .... After all, who cares about paying bills and stuff and finding a job that's not an everyday burden??

Anyway! I've been simulation-looking for a job on the web, and I can assure you it won't be easy (at least in the area I'm living in). Maybe we should try collective suicide...

I wouldn't go as far as that! suicide should only be the last possible opition! :blink:
ok, agreed, the job situtation doesn't look good at the moment (at least in central europe, that is). but noone, I repeat noone, I know that did his/her PhD in bio-sciences is unemployed. most of them got jobs at a company that's a spin-off our academic institute, others are employed at pharma or biotech companies, most of these are in the sales department, though. one guy I know of did his PhD and went to become a management-consultant for transportation companies (completely unrelated to his education as a biochemist), and another raised his own "company" (three people at the moment) doing proofs of paternity on a molecular genetic basis. Very few stayed at the university and try to have a academic carreer, but this maybe due to the unclear legal situation (e.g. the maximal time you can be employed at a university canges about every year) and unattractive career options (e.g. no tenure-track system) .

so, the PhD is not bad to have, gives you all possibilities, and is -at least around here- a necessity, though no guarantee, for better paid and interesting jobs.

mike

Edited by jadefalcon, 18 January 2005 - 06:02 AM.

--- He who finds typos may keep them! ---

#4 dandoe123

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 08:11 AM

I think I'll hold off on the "collective suicide" until Friday. I have a big experiment then and depending on how the experiment turns out... I think I'll make the decision then. :lol:

My frustration with my program and I think other programs are the same... is that they really don't prepare you for life after PhD program. You enter the program under the notion that once you sign the acceptance letter, you are "forever bound" to a life of research in academia or industry. Not until recently was I aware that with a PhD in biological sciences, you could enter business, law, or medical writing! Unfortunately, to me at least... it feels like many academica advisers treat such non-traditional alternatives as a big "no-no" and will forever banish from their grace if you even contemplate such a route. But after talking to various post-docs, finding a stable academic position is getting harder and harder to find...

Maybe Julie's adviser is correct. Maybe it's too early to worry about those "trivial" matters, but it'd be "encouraging" to know that there are other possibilities out there besides bench research when you put in 20 hours straight to do an expt only to find out that it didn't work. :blink:

#5 julie

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 01:38 AM

I think I'll hold off on the "collective suicide" until Friday.  I have a big experiment then and depending on how the experiment turns out... I think I'll make the decision then. :unsure:


Hey man, we said collective suicide!!! Do we have to assume your experiment failed and you suicide without us?? C'mon, where's your team spirit???




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