Friday, March 13, 2009

The generation of lost post docs

With the economy in such dire straights, it’s been a terrible year to be finishing a post-doc. Post-docs that have done incredible work, who at any other time would have excellent job prospects, are finding themselves without a single interview invitation. Many universities have canceled their job searches. Other universities that are continuing their searches are rumored to be less likely to hire a candidate, and even if they do hire someone will likely offer less generous start up packages to new hires.

I can’t help but wonder if this will be the generation of lost post-docs. Husband is certainly worried about his job search this fall. A few years ago I would have said that he would be a shoe-in for a position somewhere, but in this economy no one is.

Will academia lose out on the scientists who are currently (or will soon be) out there in this toxic job market? Where will we all find jobs if academia isn’t hiring and biotech is laying people off left and right?

I feel like we’re all dressed up with no place to go.

38 comments:

The bean-mom said...

I wonder the same thing, Sciencemama...

Anonymous said...

My husband has been looking in math, same troubles... 150+ applications and no offers yet. It is a crazy time to be looking for a job.

Ewan said...

Yeah. How lucky do I feel that I was on the market *last* year? [And even then, I had only signed for a few weeks before the hiring freeze hit.]

It's slightly scary: my sub-dept. has me, one associate prof, one research-active full prof, and four no-research, approaching-retirement full profs. I have no clue what will happen over the next five years or so..

GirlPostdoc said...

Thanks for your comment.

As consequence of the economic climate, there is an increase in competition (ie magnified selection pressure). This will result in more individuals leaving academia. I think if we just hold on (for a while) then things might look up in, oh say, 5 years. It's not my ideal length of a post-doc but I don't see any other choice. I completely sympathize with your worries. I've been blogging about this a lot.

http://girlpostdoc.blogspot.com/search/label/change%20in%20the%20academic%20landscape

chall said...

oh... don't say things like that. I mean, I am currently doing a post doc but who knows for how long (money money money - and data).... the dread is mounting.

and I am not even in a fine party dress. It feels more like I thought I was partying and now I am standing shoeless in the street staring at the houses where I think others are partying. With a halffancy dress on but what does that do?!?

hjoyferg said...

Thank goodness I just want to play with my macroinverts/herpetofauna/ fish.....right? Oh... wait... nope, no jobs there, either. *sigh* So I go off to join the Peace Corps & what fine welcome back to the ol' US of A do I get? Bet you can guess...

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