Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah for a look at why completing postdoc positions end up costing smart PhDs both time and money

In this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains that, especially in a competitive job market, the right kind of experience is key
  • Next, he explores compelling reasons that a postdoc benefits academics and research institutions far more than it does PhDs
  • Finally, Isaiah encourages PhDs to consider applying to industry positions instead of postdocs to maximize the lifetime value of their degree

Postdoc Positions Provide PhDs With Experience… But At What Cost?

You don’t need me to tell you that this is a competitive job market. 

The economy is in a cycle of contraction, and the job market is restricting along with it. 

As you look for ways to set yourself apart from the competition, you’ve probably heard that experience is key. 

And, don’t get me wrong: in a very general sense, more experience is better than less.

The difference between academia and industry, however, is that industry jobs aren’t exploiting your lack of experience. 

Today I want to talk to you about two reasons why completing a postdoc is only holding you back. 

Postdocs Positions Take Advantage Of The Trust PhDs Have Placed In Academia And Research

The first is on-the-job training. 

In industry, employers will provide you with the training you need, trusting that your PhD makes you a capable and quick learner. 

What’s more, industry employers will compensate you a more-than-livable wage to start. 

Academia, on the other hand, tells you that you need more academic experience in order to be successful. 

Academia offers an abysmal salary for work that is often incredibly lucrative for the institution. 

Your academic peers and advisors say you can get the experience through completing a postdoc, an extended TA position, or an adjunct post.

 And you believe it. 

Dogpiling Postdocs Onto Your Resume Makes You Look Indecisive, Not Versatile

PhDs in general believe this lie. 

We take these positions and we make the best of them, thinking, “Once I get this experience, THEN I’ll be ready.” 

This mindset often results in PhDs spending years chasing one low-paying academic position after another just to get that last bit of experience they believe is missing. 

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. 

A recent survey revealed that nearly half of the postdocs polled reported being in a postdoc position for over three years. 

One-third said that they had already completed two or three postdocs. 

Why would you want to remain in a system that tells you, even after years of experience, that your talents are not worthy of a well-paying, permanent position? 

And, if a position in industry was your end goal, you should know that the longer you stay in academia, the more you hurt your chances of landing your ideal job. 

That’s because many companies may prefer to hire PhDs straight out of grad school. 

** For the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

Ready to start your transition into industryApply to book a free Transition Call with our founder, Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists here.

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