Nature:学术生涯之后的另一种人生
2014/09/05
随着全球教育水平的普遍提升,高学历人才尤其是博士的产出量越来越大。然而,他们毕业后有多少人从事纯粹的学术研究工作?有多少人以科研作为终身职业?很多人选择了另外一种职业生涯并且获得了事业上的成功,我们是否应该对博士的教育理念和预期进行重新定义呢?


高校中的博士越来越多,或许他们有必要做好心理准备,最终未必会以科研为终身事业。

科学家不再是科学家?

通常来说,原子核物理学、分子遗传学的博士通常都会冠以科学家的名头,无论他们是在常春藤盟校实验室做研究还仅仅是一个全职的电视节目主持人。而真正的科学家应该留给那些将科学作为职业的人。科学研究是做出来的,而不仅仅是学过的一门学科。一些人认为,一个研究生在毕业后离开了实验室选择在别处工作,那么就判定他已经放弃了科研,放弃了学术之路。这并不是一种巧合,或者说,研究生毕业后的就业机会中,科研只是其中一个选择。

当然,如果不是因为这些科学家的努力,Nature杂志也不能每周出版一刊。但是,这个期刊的存在同样也要依靠那些选择了学术研究之外的“前研究”人员,无论是编辑、记者还是其它一些扮演重要角色的人。几乎没有一篇文章是没有这些人的参与的,包括许多博士、博士后甚至教师。但他们并不是失败者。

世界各处的风景是不同的。与美国和德国的学生比起来,英国的学生更愿意选择攻读博士而不把研究作为一种职业。

重新定义


各国1998-2006年的统计数据:博士研究生的数量急剧增长

据美国国家科学基金会的数据统计:2010年,近20%的美国科学博士没有从事科学研究事业,而从事全职学术工作的人就更少了。美国细胞生物学学会的一张图表显示,美国现有的86000位生物学博士中有近10%的人会成为终生的教职员工。因此可以看出,教职工作也是一个可供选择的机会,有超过一半的博士将教职职位作为他们的首选事业。

你可以从两个方面来看待这个事。Nature在2011年有一个特别板块,“The future of the PhD”(博士的未来),展示了所有这些博士需要面对并改进的问题。在其中一篇文章“The PhD factory”(博士工厂)中,我们注意到博士的产出量越来越大,文章建议少一些更好。尽管一些博士学历的人最终未能就业,但是仍然出现供过于求的现象。我们不知道花费几年的时间培养巩固具有高水平资质的人才,然后他们最终获得一份类似高校教师的工作,这是否值得。另外一篇文章提出了一些建议,改进未来科学家的教育方式,从尽早的独立到在线课程进行全面改进。


博士研究生并没有更加满意自己的工作

与其将这些博士毕业生优胜劣汰,为何不对他们重新定义呢?与其让这些一直走在阶梯最顶端而最终却以终生教职员工结束,为何不将攻读博士学位作为一种通向更多不同可能性的途径呢?

许多开明的团队领导者早已将他们的工作视作学术道路上的指路牌。 Soroosh Shambayati就没有将科学作为终生事业,他是一位由化学家转变成的投资银行家,我们在“The ones who got away”(偏离科学道路的科学家们)新闻特刊中介绍过他,他说标题应该改成“How scientists have had super careers in areas other than lab research”(科学家是如何在实验室研究之外的领域获得事业上的成功)。

负担不应该仅仅由团队领导者承担。当大学追求博士后培养时,应该清楚这些人中有很大一部分可能最终不会从事科研教学事业,而是追求其它类型的事业。


博士研究生对目前工作不满意的原因


工作6-10年后的薪资比较

大学应该做出更多的努力去帮助博士生获取更多的技能以及在学术之外能够排上用场的社交网络。当然,这并不是代表研究院应该变成贸易学校。应该设置更多的设计、执行、解释实验教育这些年轻的科学家们如何去做研究,而不是摆弄实验室的小物件或者计算P值。

有了这些信息和支持做后盾,研究生就能够更加清楚他们是否适合读博以及他们的目标是什么。那些刚毕业的学生,总是被灌输一种错误的理念,认为博士学历是事业起步的基石。但是,也不能一味地否定博士,因为他们代表了一定高度的学术水平。

当然,也有很多人对这些科学家的最终职业选择表示乐观态度。国家卫生研究院主任Francis Collins在最近的一个访问中说:“无所谓选不选择,这就是职业生涯。”

所有文章仅代表作者观点,不代表本站立场。如若转载请联系原作者。
查看更多
  • There is life after academia

    When is a scientist not a scientist? To many people in the wider world, anyone with a PhD in nuclear physics or molecular genetics would probably still earn the moniker — whether they work as a researcher in an Ivy League laboratory or as a full-time television presenter. To those on the inside, the term is usually reserved for those with science as a professional vocation. Science is something that one ‘does’, not merely something that one has studied. To the hardliners, someone with postgraduate training who then leaves the lab to work elsewhere is judged to have lost their way, or been seduced by the dark side. It is no coincidence that employment opportunities for postgraduates outside research are often labelled ‘alternative’ careers.

    展开 收起
  • Life outside the lab: The ones who got away

    When Soroosh Shambayati left his organic-chemistry lab, he didn't leave chemical synthesis behind. As a chemist PhD turned investment banker, he started working in the derivatives market in the 1990s. The transactions involved arranging a complex series of trades in a precise order, and it reminded him of synthesizing an organic compound, reaction by reaction.

    展开 收起
  • Fix the PhD

    The world has many problems and it will take a lot of bright, educated people to solve them. So, on the face of it, it seems like a good thing that more and more people are earning PhDs in science, technology and engineering. Most countries, convinced that higher education and scientific research are key to economic growth and prosperity, are expanding doctoral education in science. The thought, as one researcher who has studied doctoral-education trends puts it, is that you can “grow PhDs like mushrooms”.

    展开 收起
  • Education: The PhD factory

    Scientists who attain a PhD are rightly proud — they have gained entry to an academic elite. But it is not as elite as it once was. The number of science doctorates earned each year grew by nearly 40% between 1998 and 2008, to some 34,000, in countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The growth shows no sign of slowing: most countries are building up their higher-education systems because they see educated workers as a key to economic growth (see 'The rise of doctorates'). But in much of the world, science PhD graduates may never get a chance to take full advantage of their qualifications.

    展开 收起
  • Education: Rethinking PhDs

    "Most of them are not going to make it." That was the thought that ran through Animesh Ray's mind 15 years ago, as he watched excellent PhD students — including some at his own institution, the University of Rochester in New York — struggle to find faculty positions in academia, the only jobs they had ever been trained for. Some were destined for perpetual postdoctoral fellowships; others would leave science altogether.

    展开 收起
发表评论 我在frontend\modules\comment\widgets\views\文件夹下面 test