From “what do you want to be when you grow up?” to “academia, industry, or something else?” we’ve been asking and answering questions about our careers throughout our entire life. The question “what’s next?” can provoke all sorts of responses and it’s something PhDs and postdocs often aren’t encouraged to explore when the answer isn’t typically aimed at a tenure track.
When our formal education and training end, we have to leap into a possible unknown: a career outside of the academy. Data from The American Society of Cell Biologists shows that a faculty position is no longer the default, with less than 8% of entering PhD students becoming tenure-track faculty.
Despite this, there is little knowledge about what current career paths trainees want to pursue and the paths that those pursuing non-academic careers take. ASPB has collected career stories in the past , and we would like your help to update this and to have some meaningful conversations in general around plant science career paths.
Our hope is that the data we collect will illuminate career paths open to PhDs, particularly beyond the traditional academic path. We also hope to gain insight into some practices that academics are implementing to make career transitions happen. Hopefully this will alleviate any mystery or stigma in pursuing a career other than the traditional tenure track faculty job most PhD students and postdocs are familiar with.
This survey is just one part of a plan that ASPB has to help plant scientists navigate their careers. There is much more to come this year, including a whole new approach to ASPB membership, and a digital platform for the plant science community.
Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey. The more respondents we get, the better and more complete our analysis will be. Feel free to contact either of us if you have questions.
Take the plant science career survey
Survey collection Period: February 13th – March 16th
This blog post, and the idea for this survey originated from two members of the plant science community, Molly Hanlon and Ian Street, a PhD student and a postdoc, respectively, who are currently investigating the career paths that plant science PhDs follow. They are both very active in the plant science community and are working with ASPB to provide input on new programs, activities and tools for that community.
If you are interested in opportunities to help ASPB & the plant science community grow and thrive – feel free to contact Susan Cato, Director of Digital Strategy & Member Services at ASPB.