Career Planning - Postdoc Life

Career Planning – Postdoc Life

This article from Science Magazine is a must-read for those of us looking into doing postdocs after graduation. The article summarizes two new studies on postdoc.

Some brief highlights:

  • “Though disparate in their aims and approaches, the studies reflect the exploitation of postdocs—both financially and through the generally unattainable academic career aspirations that many harbor—that continues to undergird the structure of academic research in the United States.”
  • “Gender influences how people experience their postdocs, the article’s authors conclude, with men advantaged in several respects. Perhaps not surprisingly, 71% of postdocs had male mentors and men were more than twice as likely to have mentors of their own gender as women. This matters because female mentors appear to help women in science and engineering develop greater confidence, motivation, and sense of belonging than do mentors of the opposite sex.”
  • “Most postdocs earned between $39,000 and $55,000” but, important for us New Yorkers: “Postdocs in large metropolitan areas earned more than those in rural areas or college towns, but after accounting for living costs, their salaries on average were worth roughly $7000 less.”
  • “Many postdocs view leaving academe as betraying the ideal of science—a belief that has proven problematic for many who find themselves unable to attain their desired academic career because of the shortage of faculty openings.”
  • Make sure to read the whole article! And maybe even both studies

For more and continuing insight into life as a postdoc/junior scientist check out the Future of Research and the editor’s twitter page

And be sure to check out our Resources tab with career listings and useful articles

To help fight the exploitation of potsdocs, check out Columbia Postdoctoral Workers