The old PhD career path: Get the degree. Teach. The new PhD career path: Get the degree. Teach, but only if nothing better comes along. A majority of science and engineering doctorate holders have forsaken careers in academia, even though they started out on a teaching track, according to "Academic Employment of Recent Science and Engineering Doctorate Holders." Fewer of those who opt for academia want to share their knowledge with students. "Although a sizeable majority [64 percent] of recent [science and engineering] doctorate holders started graduate school planning to become academics, only about 47 percent actually accept academic employment in the first years after receiving their doctoral degrees," says the July 13 National Science Foundation issue brief, based on data collected in the 1997 Survey of Doctorate Recipients, the most recent data available. "There's clearly some disjuncture between the students' initial plans and their early attainment of them," says...

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