Which Future Do You Want? Scarcity In Academia Or Abundance In Industry?
Academia = Scarcity
The academic system is not sustainable.
As a PhD, you have witnessed this first-hand: dead-end postdocs, limited funding, high rates of depression, and so many other issues within academia.
But, all this can boil down to academia being associated with scarcity.
Scarcity of funding.
Scarcity of opportunities.
Scarcity of happiness.
This limited vantage point from within academia makes it seem as if there is not enough to go around.
And, well, within the academic system there isn’t enough to go around.
And, the data proves it…
According to the World Economic Forum, 649 PhDs are granted every day.
This is well above the number of professorships that open up every day.
The disparity between the available professorships and the increasing number of PhD graduates means that very, very few PhDs will ever become professors.
The Royal Society found that 99.45% of PhDs will NOT become professors.
That is nearly all PhDs!
But, if you are like most PhDs, you started graduate school with the goal of becoming a professor, completely unaware of this daunting statistic.
How could this essential information have been kept from aspiring graduate students?
Because, those professors in power are out of touch.
The National Science Foundation found that less than 20% of tenured professors are under the age of 40.
Despite the fact that people under the age of 40 make up approximately 80% of the workforce.
Aspiring PhDs often remain unaware of this data until it is too late.
Until they reach the end of their studies and are unsure what to do next.
And, this is reflected in the high unemployment rate of recently graduated PhDs.
According to the National Science Foundation, less than 65% of PhDs have a job lined up at graduation.
The scarcity of academia is harming PhDs.
It’s harming the next generation of great innovators and thinkers.
Although there is not enough opportunity to support PhDs in academia, there is another option: Industry.
Industry = Abundance
While academia places limitations on those within it, via funding or other limited opportunities, industry removes those limitations.
Industry is all about abundance.
Companies want an abundance of profits.
They adopt an abundance mindset and, from that perspective, see the potential for unlimited growth.
In industry, there are many job opportunities available for PhDs, there are high salaries available to PhDs, and there are supportive company cultures available to PhDs.
The data demonstrates this abundance…
According to a recent MassBio report, there has been a 143% growth in openings requiring a PhD in less than 10 years.
Companies can see the value that PhDs will bring to their organizations.
So, they have created positions for PhDs like you and are ready to bring PhDs on and support them.
The growth of available jobs is even higher for STEM PhDs.
As reported by The Manufacturer, jobs in the science, research, engineering, and technology fields will grow 2x as fast as other careers.
Your STEM PhD is in high demand.
Alongside this high demand for your PhDs expertise, you will also be highly valued and compensated in industry.
PhDs are significantly underpaid in academia.
As reported by The Scientist, regardless of field or experience level, the average industry salary for a PhD is $125,937 versus just $86,021 in academia.
That is nearly a $40,000 gap.
Imagine what you could do with 40,000 extra dollars every year.
But, it’s not all about the money.
In industry, PhDs also report much, much higher job satisfaction levels than in academia.
And, STEM PhDs benefit more than any other group.
A recent news report found that STEM careers deliver the highest level of satisfaction across industry sectors (81%).
In industry, PhDs are well-compensated, experience high levels of job satisfaction, and have an abundance of opportunities to grow.
The difference between academia and industry is extreme. In academia, PhDs are given false hope that they will become professors. They are strung along a dead-end career path and all the while, they are underpaid. Too many PhDs become stuck in academia and are not sure how to escape the scarcity mindset that surrounds them. But, outside academia, in industry, there is a very different path available to PhDs. A path of abundance — where there is a growing number of jobs available to PhDs, where they will be well-compensated, and where they will work in a supportive culture.
Which future do you want?
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Isaiah believes--from personal experience--that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life, it’s a clear sign that you need to make a change. Don’t sit still and wait for the world to tell you what to do. Start a new project. Build your own business. Take action. Experimentation is the best teacher.
Isaiah is an internationally recognized Fortune 500 consultant, CEO of Cheeky Scientist, and author of the straight-talk bestsellers Black Hole Focus and The Science of Intelligent Achievement.
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