What does the job market ask of young life scientists? Changes in the marketplace in recent years have complicated the answer to this seemingly simple question. As more and more young scientists react to the shrinkage of attractive job opportunities in academia by seeking industry positions and other alternatives to university-based careers, they are finding that the trend of recent decades toward increasing specialization is being accompanied by a new demand for more broad-based skills. Rapid changes in science and technology are causing the distinctions between some disciplines to blur, with the result that employers are seeking people with the ability to work in more than one discipline.
TOWARD MORE INDEPENDENCE: Catharine Johnson, who is completing her Ph.D. in biochemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explains that diversifying the education curriculum means that students are "being provided with the building blocks to be able to think independently."