Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

PhD jobs: Support beyond academia

Subjects

PhD jobs: Support beyond academia

Most PhD students are all too aware of their limited career prospects in academia and its dearth of permanent jobs. To imply that they are not (Nature 550, 429; 2017) goes against the results of Nature’s Careers survey, which reports that 55% of respondents are worried about their career path and 49% are concerned about the number of research jobs available (Nature 550, 549–552; 2017).

Simply directing PhD trainees to career services is not enough. In our view, supervisors should discuss career goals with their students throughout their degrees, while helping them to develop career-oriented skills (such as management, teamwork and communication) that are mutually beneficial. Mentors can also encourage students by familiarizing themselves with campus professional-development services and by celebrating the career successes of alumni outside academia.

The 14% of survey respondents who have unsupportive advisers might face discrimination after voicing their wish to pursue different careers. Students should consider approaching other mentors — in industry, for example.

Many US student groups are spearheading a movement to broaden careers training beyond academia. Supervisors and administrators must step up too.

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hughes, J., Scheibel, K. & Bremer, A. PhD jobs: Support beyond academia. Nature 551, 440 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-017-07234-4

Download citation

  • Careers
  • Education

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing