Richard Winn wrote:
> I, along with a large number of my peers are no longer
> "junior" but we have struggled as we bounce from 1-2 year temporary
> and soft-money positions.
and Tom Kwak wrote:
> These data suggest that there is merit in each perception (worse vs. no change).
and I commend Dr. Grossman on a very thorough list of recommendations
and suggestions. I wish someone had told me all these little tidbits
when I was an undergrad. Unfortunately, I think that as we go through
grad school and beyond, we become so accustomed to the system that we
forget just how foreign it was, and how little we really understood
about the system, when we were starting out.
Having 10+ years of employment following grad school behind me, I don't
know if I qualify as senior, but at least I'd call it experienced. And
that experience is right along the line of Winn's and Kwak's postings
about a change in the type of positions that are available now. This
doesn't mean they are lesser quality positions, but they are different
than the general position sought and acquired by young professionals
several years ago. At least in my case, I doubt if 1 out of 5 of my
grad school 'classmates' landed academic positions. The rest are in
federal-state-private positions, and many float from one to the next
because of soft money situations.
I know that I was constantly amazed during my early job search years at
the number of applicants that were competing with me for positions.
Each of those several hundred rejection letters noted 150, 200, 350
qualified applicants applied for position "X". I later found out that
in many cases, not only were many applicants young and seeking their
first job, but there was a substantial number of senior scientists from
well reknowned universities seeking to (apparently) back out of the high
pressure "ratrace". The point being: young scientists should realize
that they are not simply competing with their "peers" on a job
Lastly, a few years back in American Scientist there was an article
about the increasing surplus of people and lack of jobs. They noted,
for the United States, that during and immediately after the Vietnam
period (late 60's to mid-70's) undergraduate enrollment rose
dramatically (obviously). What they found however was that many of that
"wave" of students went into the hard sciences, and they stayed with it
(I'm right on the tail of that wave). Completing their graduate career
in the 80's, they swamped the job market, and they are still there. So
the fresh graduate is competing now with a strong "cohort" of the
previous generation, plus seniors looking to lighten up a little.
Thus, I can only stress that Dr. Grossman's advice should be seriously
Steve Branstetter, Ph.D., Program Director
Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation
Ste. 997, Lincoln Center
5401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: 813-286-8390 FAX: 813-286-8261
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