Career advice from Bug Girl

Bug Girl has a must-read piece for anyone contemplating graduate school in the sciences:

NEVER get a PhD because you think it will improve your job prospects.   PhDs are trained to do research in an academic setting, for the most part. And that is….not, frankly, where the majority of jobs are.  You will be disappointed and frustrated if you think getting a PhD will make getting a job “easier.”

Pursue a PhD because you love science, or because you have a burning question about a topic that you want to investigate further.

5 thoughts on “Career advice from Bug Girl”

  1. I am in a PhD program and this advice is absoloutely true. You will be wasting your time and energy if you are only in the program for a job. To do well and complete the PhD you have to love the research so much that you continue to be motivated through the thick and thin. Besides, a PhD is the validation that you are able to do the research on your own as a PI (primary investigator).

  2. Consider this too…

    You should also pursue a PhD if you love or really like the lifestyle of a PhD student and/or post-doc, as you will be spending many years as a student or post doc before you ever become a “professional.” Even though I am faculty now, I often wish I was still a post-doc…

  3. I would hope I can use this advice. That is, if my parents don’t pressure me into applying for med school instead. I’m sure there are a lot of MDs who don’t really like what they’re doing…

  4. Love of learning will support you well for the rest of your life: it won’t get you a job, it won’t make you rich.

    Do things because you love them. Learn things because you love learning. You only have one life: how do you want to spend it?

  5. I’ve been told that in the biotech industry, having a Masters makes you much more marketable than a PhD.

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