Science Ph.D. students' interest in faculty jobs decreases over time

May 3, 2012

Science Ph.D. students' interest in a faculty job wanes after they have spent more years in school, while other careers become more attractive, according to a study published May 2 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The results are based on a survey of over 4,000 U.S. Ph.D. students in life sciences, chemistry, and physics conducted by a research team led by Henry Sauermann of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The decreasing interest in faculty positions occurred despite the reportedly strong encouragement from advisors for students to pursue academic research careers. This study suggests that science Ph.D. need more information and resources about pursuing non-academic careers, the authors write.

"This study provides unique survey evidence regarding students' career preferences, supporting common concerns regarding imbalances between career preferences and faculty positions actually available. However, the study also shows important differences across fields and suggests that non-academic careers become relatively more attractive over time, despite strong encouragement of academic careers by departments and advisors."

Explore further: Study of social science PhDs recommends changes for 21st century

More information: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036307

Related Stories

Many top US scientists wish they had more children

August 8, 2011

Nearly half of all women scientists and one-quarter of male scientists at the nation's top research universities said their career has kept them from having as many children as they had wanted, according to a new study by ...

Women in science? Universities don't make the grade

September 29, 2011

Despite years of trying to improve the number of women undergraduates in science and engineering, a new study shows most universities are failing. Not only are women lagging behind their male classmates, efforts to close ...

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.