Transferable Skills: A Scientist's Asset

The scientific employment market has become increasingly competitive over the past two decades. Today's science graduates generally are faced with at least two postdoctoral fellowships, often in very diverse fields--and still with no assurance of a job at the end. Because the primary focus is on the specific technical expertise required, the ancillary, transferable skills and personal attributes that enhance marketability are often overlooked by both applicant and employer. Skills in scientific

Jyotsna Sharma
May 28, 1995

The scientific employment market has become increasingly competitive over the past two decades. Today's science graduates generally are faced with at least two postdoctoral fellowships, often in very diverse fields--and still with no assurance of a job at the end. Because the primary focus is on the specific technical expertise required, the ancillary, transferable skills and personal attributes that enhance marketability are often overlooked by both applicant and employer.

Skills in scientific methodology, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis, come with the territory of choosing a career in science. They are also transferable to other disciplines within the sciences or even outside science to administration or financial management. The main focus of academic institutions, however, is primarily on providing scientific knowledge without helping the student to recognize other skills that may be necessary in carving out a successful career.

Because research, by its very nature, can be...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?