Careers beyond academic science
Video clip: Bryony says she has found seminars about careers helpful. She has heard about careers that she could follow if she were to leave academia. She thinks that writing articles for newspapers or blogs might be interesting.
In the past two and a half years here there’s been quite a lot of effort put in to talking about careers and not just sort of expecting people to know how it works. Because one of the really hard things about science is there isn’t really a pattern. It’s not like working in a big company where there’s a clear hierarchy as to how you go up. It’s very, very variable in science. And what they’ve done here has been very good in talking about careers. Getting young group leaders to speak about how they got to where they are and alternatives. So we now have a career seminar series for careers outside of academia, as a well as inside, which has been really positive because otherwise you kind of find yourself whispering about going into Industry in the tea room and feeling like you’re talking about something really naughty and it’s, that’s just counterproductive. So there’s, my message to anyone running a department from a postdoc perspective is that’s really helpful. As helpful as the mentorship scheme, just having an open discussion about how your career progression could work is very, very good.
Mm. What sort of alternatives would there be if you decided not to stay an academic.
Well we mentioned industry, that’s a very feasible option. For me that’s not appealing. It was appealing from a logistical perspective, in terms of best salary…
.. and nine to five and so on. But not from a scientific perspective, and also I think, there’s a lot of sales jobs and things like that; they want people with PhDs. But it just sounds dire. There are also a lot of jobs in medical writing and editing for journals. So obviously you need people with scientific backgrounds for those sorts of jobs. My personal preferred alternative would be scientific writing but more journalism, so writing popular science for newspapers or blogs, or Pod casts, radio, that sort of thing. I’ve done a little bit of that and I really enjoy it. That’s my plan B [laughs].