Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower

Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower

by Cynthia Robbins-Roth
     
 

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Many science students find themselves in the midst of graduate school or sitting at a lab bench, and realize that they hate lab work! Even worse is realizing that they may love science, but science (at least academic science) is not providing many job opportunities these days. What's a poor researcher to do !?
This book gives first-hand descriptions of the…  See more details below

Overview

Many science students find themselves in the midst of graduate school or sitting at a lab bench, and realize that they hate lab work! Even worse is realizing that they may love science, but science (at least academic science) is not providing many job opportunities these days. What's a poor researcher to do !?
This book gives first-hand descriptions of the evolution of a band of hardy scientists out of the lab and into just about every career you can imagine. Researchers from every branch of science found their way into finance, public relations, consulting, business development, journalism, and more - and thrived there! Each author tells their personal story, including descriptions of their career path, a typical day, where to find information on their job, opportunities to career growth, and more. This is a must-read for every science major, and everyone who is looking for a way to break out of their career rut.

* An insider's look at the wide range of job opportunities for scientists yearning to leave the lab
* First-person stories from researchers who successfully made the leap from science into finance, journalism, law, public policy, and more.
* Tips on how to track down and get that job in a new industry
* Typical day scenarios for each career track
* List of resources (websites, associations, etc.) to help you in your search
* Completely revised, this latest edition includes six entirely new chapters

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Editorial Reviews

2 Stars from Doody
S.J. Enna
Each chapter of this book contains a first person account written by someone who pursued graduate training in the sciences but ultimately developed a successful career outside of the laboratory and academia. Most chapters follow a format that includes a discussion of the contributor's academic training, career choices, the qualities necessary for success, average income, and a typical workday. "This book is intended as a guide for scientists contemplating a career change who are seeking ways to exploit their training and talents outside the laboratory or academic setting. "Although it is intended to be useful for any scientist, virtually all of the contributors chose to pursue their alternative careers towards the end of their graduate school or postdoctoral training, making it most useful for younger readers. Typically, years of apprenticeship, networking, and job changes were needed to establish credentials sufficient for earning a living in one of the described positions. "The book contains neither tables nor figures. In some cases, contributors cite texts, web sites, or organizations that provide additional information about a particular career. "Given the growing competition for tenured faculty and industrial research positions, this timely book could be of value for frustrated graduate students and postdoctoral fellows or for those who have decided that laboratory research is not fulfilling. Since most chapters were written by women, they may be particularly inspiring for the distaff, although the basic lessons are universal. While much of the material is anecdotal, virtually all of the authors conclude that, regardless of the occupation, success depends upon networking,written and oral communication skills, and, in some cases, computer literacy. Low pay, at least initially, and long hours are also common themes, as is the need to change jobs frequently to advance. While the analytical and technical training received in graduate school may be a distinct advantage in some areas of publishing, broadcasting, investment banking, sales, and marketing, dedication and persistence are required to master the other skills needed for each of these career paths. Thus, although the text provides no insights beyond those found in any self-help career guide, disillusioned bench scientists may find it comforting to read how some of their peers parlayed their science background in unique and profitable ways.
Booknews
Provides 23 contributions on alternatives to the lab or research institution for those with science degrees. Alternative careers presented include technical writing, publishing, science journalism, consulting, entrepreneurial business, patent agent, public policy analyst, and research funding administration. Each career choice is explored by someone who has already followed that particular path. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: S.J. Enna, PhD (University of Kansas School of Medicine)
Description: Each chapter of this book contains a first person account written by someone who pursued graduate training in the sciences but ultimately developed a successful career outside of the laboratory and academia. Most chapters follow a format that includes a discussion of the contributor's academic training, career choices, the qualities necessary for success, average income, and a typical workday.
Purpose: This book is intended as a guide for scientists contemplating a career change who are seeking ways to exploit their training and talents outside the laboratory or academic setting.
Audience: Although it is intended to be useful for any scientist, virtually all of the contributors chose to pursue their alternative careers towards the end of their graduate school or postdoctoral training, making it most useful for younger readers. Typically, years of apprenticeship, networking, and job changes were needed to establish credentials sufficient for earning a living in one of the described positions.
Features: The book contains neither tables nor figures. In some cases, contributors cite texts, web sites, or organizations that provide additional information about a particular career.
Assessment: Given the growing competition for tenured faculty and industrial research positions, this timely book could be of value for frustrated graduate students and postdoctoral fellows or for those who have decided that laboratory research is not fulfilling. Since most chapters were written by women, they may be particularly inspiring for the distaff, although the basic lessons are universal. While much of the material is anecdotal, virtually all of the authors conclude that, regardless of the occupation, success depends upon networking, written and oral communication skills, and, in some cases, computer literacy. Low pay, at least initially, and long hours are also common themes, as is the need to change jobs frequently to advance. While the analytical and technical training received in graduate school may be a distinct advantage in some areas of publishing, broadcasting, investment banking, sales, and marketing, dedication and persistence are required to master the other skills needed for each of these career paths. Thus, although the text provides no insights beyond those found in any self-help career guide, disillusioned bench scientists may find it comforting to read how some of their peers parlayed their science background in unique and profitable ways.
From the Publisher
"After my Ph.D. I realized that although I enjoyed science, I felt that my skills might be better applied to enabling the application of science within a more commercial context. Reading the experiences of others in this book gave me the confidence to move into another area of work. After spending two years in university technology transfer, I now negotiate Strategic Alliances on behalf of Pfizer and use my scientific knowledge and experience on a day-to-day basis."
-Philip McGurk, Pfizer, California, U.S.A.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780080454986
Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Series:
Alternative Careers in Science Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Cynthia Robbins-Roth, Ph.D., left academia to pursue a science career in the then-emerging biotechnology industry. Her career detoured through business development before her entrepreneurial spirit compelled her to start up her own biotechnology consulting and publishing business, BioVenture. Because of her scientific insight, irreverent manner, and ebullient nature, Dr. Robbins-Roth is a popular speaker on alternative careers for scientists, as well as a recognized biotech industry expert.

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