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Glut of Ph.D.'s? Consider Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Commission of Life Sciences of the National Research Council (NRC) issued a report (September 1998), Trends in the Early Careers of Life Scientists, stating that the university system is producing a surplus of Ph.D.s. (P. Smaglik, E. Russo, The Scientist, 12[19]:6, Sept. 28, 1998). Since there are not enough permanent positions for the new Ph.D.s, they are relegated to take one postdoctoral position after another, ending up being frustrated and earning a less-than- satisfactory salary for

Gordon Amidon

The Commission of Life Sciences of the National Research Council (NRC) issued a report (September 1998), Trends in the Early Careers of Life Scientists, stating that the university system is producing a surplus of Ph.D.s. (P. Smaglik, E. Russo, The Scientist, 12[19]:6, Sept. 28, 1998). Since there are not enough permanent positions for the new Ph.D.s, they are relegated to take one postdoctoral position after another, ending up being frustrated and earning a less-than- satisfactory salary for their intellect and highly trained skills. The observation of NRC was based on the finding that about 62 percent of Ph.D.s five to six years after graduation held a permanent job in 1995 as compared to 89 percent in 1973 (www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/trends/).

Similar inferences were drawn from a survey by the American Society for Cell Biology (www.faseb.org/ascb/pubpol/careersnwsrel.htm) indicating that it is tougher and tougher to pursue a career...

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