Grant Jacobs at Code for Life says that a recent career talk he attended only presented students with information about careers in academia. While Jacobs says it's unreasonable to expect professors to speak beyond their realms of expertise, "those presenting academic career path talks should do their student audience a huge favor and at least mention that the academic path is the exception, not the rule." That many students still aspire to become academic faculty is rooted in an institutionalized "echo chamber," he adds. "For a decent number of years, almost the only thing that students see as 'success' is senior academics." But for graduate students and postdocs who've already devoted years to their training, Jacobs suggests the issue is more "finding a better fit" than academia, rather than "letting go" of it altogether. Institutions ought to "bear some responsibility to show the full range of [PhD career] possibilities," or, at the very least, share with students that as it stands, "less than half of them will remain in academic work," he says.
'Finding a Better Fit'
Feb 12, 2011