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Thursday, January 31 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Alternative Careers ARE the Mainstream! Taking Your Degree to a New Level

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Description: Only 2-10% of PhD graduates in any given year will ultimately end up in the coveted, grail-like, tenure-track position. Only a smaller proportion still will actually receive tenure. Despite this, we keep training scientists from the start of their careers that this should be the aspiration. But should the tenured academic be the norm for a science career? Out in the wider world many science graduates are on the front lines where policies get shaped, public opinions get changed, pseudoscience gets debunked, and where we aide our academic colleagues in creating real hope and change. In addition to commercial science, many science graduates run non-profit conservation organizations, form patient and health advocacy groups, work to improve law, develop software and new analytical tools and advise movers and shakers in a wide variety of sectors. There's a veritable Nerd Army always looking for a few good Sci's. But how to get there, from the universities to these non-academic careers? This session will draw on the collective wisdom of those attending to provide ammo for those unsure of their place in this world. Scientists are more broadly trained than we often give ourselves credit for and can leverage many of scientific skills in other areas.

- How do we make students aware that they most likely will not be a tenured academic?
- Where and how can students and early career people find emotional support for getting off the academic career meth? Need to move from personal stories (such as #IamScience) to practical paths.
- What are our transferable skills and how do we shift from our research focus to marketing our abilities and talents? Are there skills that should be taught during a graduate program that could enhance both the traditional path and the newer options?
- How do we teach students to think more entrepreneurially and highlight the wide variety of scientific careers that may be more readily accessible to them?
- What are the sectors that hire science graduates? Examples from industry, biotech/pharma, science writing/journalism, freelance/self-employment, non-profit and government.

Thursday January 31, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am EST
Room 8

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