Career in the Microbio Sciences

Chris Larosa clarosa at
Wed Feb 16 01:23:41 EST 2000

Well I must agree with parts of J. Hu's statement,,,,I make a little joke with the
phrase be afraid....I mean plan plan plan and be extremely discriminating, and be
prepared to work like hell.   Nevertheless  the activity itself is very
compelling.    Some people, myself included are just addicted to working in the
lab.   I must admit I have no hard data on the applicant numbers.   But I do have
first hand experience working in a big lab group and I know the sucess rate versus
failure rate.    This was in my experience about 50 percent .  About half of the
graduate students dropped out before getting a PhD.   Ok.. now some were rewarded a
PhD , but really were lousy scientists,   some just decided to drop out after
getting the degree and some went on to postdocing.   Some got good postdocs....
some got bad ones....for what ever reasons their own fault are whatever.....some
still on track and some got jobs.....Through each layer of the academic pyramid
scheme there is a filtering process.   I dont have hard numbers for the current
trend for every field.    But in my experience the probability of sucess is low.
10's of thousand of dollars are spent on careers through this long training
process, with I and Art Sower's would suggest is an unexceptable failure rate.  Is
the personal cost and risk worth it to the individual?? That is up to the
individual..... Of course career choises shift and careers sucess and failures
alter our paths through life.    But lets get clear...academic careers are hard,
and opportunities for advancement have decreased over the last 30 years.    So as
we all seem to agree, be very very discriminating on what graduate program you go
I am glad there is a newsgroup site where we discuss this issue in a free
forum....    Just try to bring it up in your own academic environment and your
looking for trouble.

Jim Hu wrote:

> First, thanks for the vote of confidence, such as it is ;^)
> .

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