getting away from the bench

Marc Goldstein magoldst at
Tue Jun 4 00:34:30 EST 1996

Hi Nannette,

	The question you ask is a good one. It took me several months of job
searching to figure out that there were actually a lot of options for
people with PhDs. I found that during my post-doc, the best parts of
my day were when people came to me to ask for help with their
projects. Realizing this, I decided that an applications support
position might be the thing for me, and I started researching the jobs
in this area. One thing led to another, and I wound up getting a great
job with a major equipment manufacturer. I get to do lots of things in
the course of my day. I develop applications for the equipment, I
install it at customer sites and train them, and I aid in the sales
process by providing technical expertise.  Other positions you might
fit into include lab management or core facility management. PhDs can
be very valuable in these slots, but the challenge is a lot different
than the traditional academic track.  Good luck, and email me if you
have any specific questions.

Marc Goldstein, PhD
magoldst at

user at (Enter Your Name Here) wrote:

>Hi everyone,

>I'm currently a post-doc (going on my 5th year in the field of molecular
>immunology) and have come to realize that although I am fascinated by many
>aspects of science-I'm not all that thrilled with bench work anymore
>(although I was at ages 25-31 and am 34 now).  Right now I'm in the
>process of trying to work out what the ultimate career move might be, and
>with all of the difficulties assoicated with academic careers, I'm looking
>pretty seriously at jobs in the private sector.  

>The overwhelming concern I have about a job in industry is that it seems
>most Ph.D.s do continue to work at the bench.  Ultimately, I think I would
>be happiest with some type of job where I could do background research
>into new scientific areas, or some type of project management, or possibly
>something completely different.  

>Most of my colleages who have fled the "academic ship" for industry are
>either working at the bench or have very high level jobs (they had high
>level jobs in academia when they left).  I was hoping to get input from
>those of you in industry about the spectrum of non-bench positions (I
>realize this will vary tremendously from company to company-but what the
>heck-asking never hurt anyone).

>Also, I would greatly appreciate input from anyone (with experience in
>both academia and industry) who feels that leaving academic life would be
>a mistake. 

>----Looking for light at the end of the tunnel from those who have escaped
>the perpetual post-doc syndrome----


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