Alternative Careers for Developmental Biologists
Posted by Eva Amsen, on 21 December 2010
Some of the most popular posts on the Node have been those about career prospects for young scientists. The category pages for job ads and career posts are among the most visited parts of the site, but neither of them has had as many hits as the discussion titled “too many postdocs and PhD students?”
In the comments of that post, back in July, Greg Dressler wrote:
“I do think we need to get over the idea that nothing short of an academic career fulfills the ideal goal of our students and post-docs. Most of the folks I went to graduate school with are not in academics anymore, yet they have meaningful and successful careers.”
And James Briscoe added:
“More flexibility is what’s needed and the acknowledgment and encouragement of a diversity of career routes and development paths.”
To follow on these thoughts we’ll profile a range of alternative careers for developmental biologists on the Node. Over the next few months we’ll have posts up from several people who found a career away from the bench. All posts in this series will be tagged altcareers, so you can easily find them all on one page.
We have already approached a few people to ask them to share their story, but if you would like to add your own experience in finding work outside of academic research, feel free to register for the Node and add a post with the altcareers tag, or contact us to get a set of guiding questions if you’d like some help with writing.
Eventually, we’ll summarize all responses in a feature article.
I’ll kick off the series with my own story in a few days. Spoiler: I’ll complain about the phrase “alternative careers”, because for me it was never an alternative to begin with!
One thought on “Alternative Careers for Developmental Biologists”
Rather than going from developmental biology to something else,I knew very little of developmental biology when starting my work but then was blindsided about four months later when the company’s product was found effective in zebrafish embryos. That was almost eleven years ago. Instead of moving from developmental biology into an alternative career, I found my work in antisense becoming a key tool for developmental biology.
Eva, I read that you too started in environmental science; I finished my Ph.D. in “environmental sciences and resources: Biology” but found little opportunity for work in that field. Fortunately, my research and teaching had involved enough molecular biology to find biotech work at Gene Tools at about the time that the developmental biology community discovered Morpholinos.