Seven in ten researchers and engineers in the U.S. work in the the business sector, and only two in ten stay at universities. But many college graduates and postdocs aim primarily for tenure-track careers in academia. At the same time, many graduates and postdocs lack key soft skills, like communication, team work, or leadership, which are essential for working in the commercial, non-profit, or government sector.
We sat down with Dr. Phil Clifford, a professor and associate dean in medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and co-lead of myIDP, a AAAS initiative to provide early career researchers with guidance for acquiring soft skills and identifying careers that suit them. In light of COVID-19 and hiring freezes at many universities and businesses, we also talked about how the job market changed, who is most impacted, and how we can improve our chances for jobs that are still available.
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AAAS myIDP: https://myidp.sciencecareers.org
Science and Engineering workforce by sector in the U.S. (2017): https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsb20198/s-e-workers-in-the-economy
"You Need a Game Plan", essay about myIDP in Science Magazine (2012): https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2012/09/you-need-game-plan
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