Money and self-esteem

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Mon Sep 29 15:10:48 EST 1997

Karen Allendoerfer (ravena at wrote:
: I just got back from Germany, where I talked at some length to a friend 
: and colleague who, after his PhD in an excellent lab there, decided also
: to leave academic science for many of the reasons that Sabine cites.  In
: my own experience, I haven't seen this happen as often in the U.S. (yet).

I have seen a number of my colleagues and acquaintances in the U.S. pursue
a similar course to Sabine, i.e. leave academic science. One thing that
was interesting to me about Sabine's post was that I thought, "Aha, it's
happening in Germany too!" Sometime within the last year or so we had
another post on this group from a German scientist telling what people
with Ph.D.s (science) in her country ended up doing for their careers. I
seem to remember her feeling there were not as many options as in the U.S.
In the last 3 years I have seen about 5 scientists leave science for law
school, one for medical school, two for sales careers, one for a job in
tech transfer, and too many to list for bench scientist positions in
industry. The ones going for scientist in industry positions definitely
outnumber the ones going for traditional academic research careers. Others
I know have gone into teaching, science education, and computing. Someone
somewhere told me that the institution I work at has a higher placement
rate than average (I can't vouch for this) for academic research professor
jobs (tenure track), so I figured that exodus was even greater on average
around the country. Anyone else care to comment on the exodus from
academia (or lack of one) at their institutions?



Megan Brown
mbrown at
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

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