New data about career paths for biomedical PhDs has been published by a group led by Cynthia Fuhrmann and Bill Lindstaedt from the University of California, San Francisco (essay in CBE-Life Sciences Education). They report data they have collected from graduate students in biomedical PhD programs at their school career centers. The statistic that jumps off the page is that 71.2% of all graduate students polled were “strongly considering” a career that was outside of scientific research. The non-scientific research careers were broad ranging (business of science, science policy, education-related, writing, etc.).
There is a nice summary of the paper on Bio Job Blog that you can read by clicking here. This poignant sentence should fuel the conversation to reshape graduate education and training: “Fuhrmann and Lindstaedt’s current study clearly shows that tenure track positions are no longer traditional career options for most graduate students and postdocs and paradoxically they have actually become a ‘nontraditional or alternate career route.’”