Years ago, before you committed yourself to earning a doctorate, you may have been assured that science was not only an intellectual adventure, it was also a straight path to a career, a decent living. But now you hear that the scientific path can be tortuous and full of detours. For example, you might do better to pursue alternatives to the traditional academic route. But the private sector presents pitfalls, too. Going forward, you’ll have to be alert to obstacles too few people seem willing to discuss, if only because negativity is considered suspect in our aggressively optimistic culture.

Poll Question:
What do you consider the greatest threat to your career prospects?

The outsourcing of research work to foreign laboratories and/or the H-1B-sustained influx of researchers from abroad.

The flat-lining of public spending in support of research.

Unimaginative administrators in charge of distributing research funding.

Industry consolidation and the attendant layoffs.

Employer/employee power imbalances (lack of collective bargaining, etc.)

Your own lack of gumption.

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