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Nature Graduate Survey: Uncertain Futures of Ph.D Candidates

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[The SearchLite’s Note] To stay in academia or not is a common question to ponder for graduate students, especially for the Innovators-in-Residence at The SearchLite.

You are not alone. According to The 2015 Nature survey of graduate students, more than 60% of the above 3400 respondents claimed that they were “likely” or “very likely” to continue their work in industry because of the severe competition, heavy workload, and limited income of academia. However, some graduate students chose to return to academia after  experiencing a career in industry  because it “could satisfy her scientific curiosity”.

The data and first-hand accounts  mentioned in this Nature piece may not come as a big surprise as many of you may be feeling very similar thoughts as those of your peers. What’s more, is that it may make you think of your career again.

Remember, The SearchLite is always here to help you know more about the industry sector before you dive in it.

Enjoy the article!

(Edited: Christy Song)

Graduate survey: Uncertain futures

By Chris Woolston

Graduate students in the sciences generally keep a tight focus on their area of study, whether it is mice, molecules or lasers. But when it comes to plans for the future, they are willing to take a wide-angle view.

The 2015 Nature survey of graduate students, which drew more than 3,400 responses from early-career researchers across the world, uncovered a strong and far-reaching enthusiasm for jobs in academia. Some 78% of respondents said that they are likely or very likely to pursue a research career in academia, a bold stance given the global shortage of permanent positions at universities.

But the survey also revealed uncertainty and ambivalence. More than 60% of respondents said that they are “likely” or “very likely” to pursue a job in industry (see ‘Industry appeal’). And 61% said that they are “likely” or “very likely” to pursue a research job with a government or foundation, which makes it clear that many graduate students are unclear about their futures.

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Go to Nature to continue reading

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