Finding Good Scientific Career Advice When Job Prospects Are Tight

An unfortunate number of young scientists report having been given bad career advice early in their professional lives. Faced with the choice of whether to pursue a scientific career at all, and if so, whether to aim for a career in academia, industry, government, or some other sector, potential scientists are hungry for advice and become bitterly disappointed when that advice proves incorrect. Although "incorrect" counseling may not have been mean-spirited-- indeed, it may not even have been i

Robert Finn
May 28, 1995

An unfortunate number of young scientists report having been given bad career advice early in their professional lives. Faced with the choice of whether to pursue a scientific career at all, and if so, whether to aim for a career in academia, industry, government, or some other sector, potential scientists are hungry for advice and become bitterly disappointed when that advice proves incorrect. Although "incorrect" counseling may not have been mean-spirited-- indeed, it may not even have been incorrect at the time it was given--it is undeniable that the current scientific job market is tight and shows no signs of easing soon. This places good advice at a greater premium than ever.

But if scientists feel they've received bad advice previously (see story on page 1), where should they go for good advice now, and how will they recognize good advice when they get it?


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