Biology PHD: Where Will It Take You?

The great danger of seeking advanced degrees is not planning for one’s academic career options far enough in advance, prior to graduation.
Of the 16,000 Biology Ph.D. students entering programs each year, over 1/3 will not complete.  The average Biology Ph.D. requires 7 years to complete.
Of those who do graduate, 7/10 will enter a post-doc program. Sadly, over 30% of all graduates will be forced to do two or more post-doc programs, all because of the lack of academic positions available.

Study by Jessica Polka
Study by Jessica Polka

There are positions available, but the market is tight and requires savvy approaches to help graduates gain a strategic position search advantage. Earning a degree and assuming one will beat the odds just isn’t realistic.
The best advice?
Invest in your education and career at the same time.  Don’t wait until you complete your program.
 
 
Sources:
Original Article by Jessica Polka on ASCB.org
1 – Science Careers Annual Postdoc Survey (2012)
2 – doi:10.1038/472276a
3 – Sauermann & Roach 2012 PLOS ONE; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036307
Unless otherwise noted, NIH Biomedical Workforce Working Group (2012).
 

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