postdocs

Bart Janssen bjanssen at ag.arizona.edu
Wed Aug 13 20:17:41 EST 1997


APALLAS wrote:

> O.K., I shouldn't have said "postdocless" appliers - everyone does
> them nowadays.  But, my reasoning still stands (postdoc = resume
> builder first, and not exactly additional training, as some have put
> it).
>
> How GOOD a postdoc is that you have on your resume determines whether
> you get the job you apply for after it.
>
> And, as someone once told me, they are a great way to network, whereas
> if you go right into a job, or don't "have at least 4 years of
> postdoctoral experience," the only real contacts you have to fall back
> on are your professors from the school in which you received your
> Ph.D., or the one postdoc you did that only lasted a year or two.
>
> Anything else?

Hi there

Hmm I just deleted a whole lot of waffle because it didn't make the
point clearly.  The point is, if the university you got your PhD at is
doing it's job, then by the time you have your PhD, YOU ARE A HIGHLY
SKILLED WORKER!

For employers to then say you need to "pad your resume" (or any other
such twaddle) before they should pay you a decent (not extravagent)
wage, is nonsense (and insulting).

But it is the current reality.  It is also wrong.  I don't think things
will change very quickly, but so long as people accept the nonsense of
"needing to be further trained" or "needing to pad a resume" or "if you
want money science is the wrong career" then nothing will change.  And
we will continue to see the best minds turn away from science (in
particular biological science).

Just to expand on that point a little, I don't mean that biological
science will get no good minds.  But just that for very many of the very
bright minds they can choose between several different disciplines or
careers.  It makes sense for them to choose a career that they enjoy AND
which pays well.  Bear in mind that the critical choice comes not after
the PhD but before.

All the other benefits of doing a post-doc are still true, you do build
a "network", you do improve your research skills, you do improve your CV
(by the way you don't learn how to teach :)), etc etc.  But none of that
should stop you from being paid what you are worth.

cheers
Bart




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