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Marketability Is Key To A Career Beyond The Bench

Recently, I ran into a colleague I hadn't seen in five years. We quickly caught up with each other's careers and then started to discuss employment opportunities in the sciences. I told her that in my opinion, there are opportunities outside of primary research for scientists. She replied rather sarcastically, "Oh, there are jobs for scientists?" This is a question asked by graduate students and postdocs every day around the departmental coffee pot. The good news is that there are indeed jobs

Randy Krauss

Recently, I ran into a colleague I hadn't seen in five years. We quickly caught up with each other's careers and then started to discuss employment opportunities in the sciences. I told her that in my opinion, there are opportunities outside of primary research for scientists. She replied rather sarcastically, "Oh, there are jobs for scientists?" This is a question asked by graduate students and postdocs every day around the departmental coffee pot. The good news is that there are indeed jobs out there. But to get them, you have to search for them and know how to sell yourself.

Academic departments and principal investigators (P.I.'s) must realize and accept the fact that there aren't enough research jobs to satisfy the supply of Ph.D. candidates and postdocs. Ten years ago, when research positions in biotechnology companies were abundant, leaving academic research for industry positions was frowned upon. Today, the competition...

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