Summary of Get a Ph.D. responses

Abdul K Janoudi janoudi at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed May 24 15:44:49 EST 1995


Hello everyone,

By posting my original message ' Get a Ph.D. and become...' I was hoping to
initiate some discussion of this problem among faculty, postdocs and students.
I have received quite a few responses and I will summarize some interesting
ones here.

Dr. Robert Goldberg, UCLA, proposes that my perception that we are graduating
a lot of Ph.D.'s is erroneous. He sees a shortage of bright, imaginative and
creative young scientists. He has had no problems placing his postdocs in
academic and other positions. Then goes on to say: 'YES, Jobs are in SHORT
SUPPLY'.
I thought 'short supply' meant that the number of people seeking positions
greatly exceeds the available positions. Doesn't this mean that there is an
over-supply of Ph.D.'s?
Dr. Goldberg also mentions that his department has 3 positions that they could
not fill because the candidates have not been ' world-class'. I find this a bit
surprising.

Several postdocs and grad students expressed sympathy and concern and one
faculty member reminded me that even after one gets a faculty position, the
pressure is on to get tenure. This same prof. suggests that grad students and
postdocs can pursue careers in high schools teaching, scientific writing,
patent law etc. i.e. non-traditional jobs. All of these will likely require
additional education.

Some people indicated that established faculty members see no need for any
change because the system has worked for them.

It seems to me that postdocs and grad students and may be some faculty,
perceive that there is a problem, while established faculty members do not. I
was hoping more faculty members would join this discussion. After all, if any
changes are to take place it will be the profs and the administrators who will
make that change.

I know that this discussion has been very different from the typical 'does
someone have a marker for, and can someone send me protocol X'. But, a little
debate of a non- molec. biol. issue never hurt anyone.

If anyone has additional comments/ opinions please post to this newsgroup or
reply to my personal e-mail address.

Abed Janoudi





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