For Science Ph.D.’s, There Is No One True Path

For Science Ph.D.’s, There Is No One True Path

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Last April the scientific journal Nature published a series of articles on the overproduction of Ph.D.’s in the sciences. In particular, the journal singled out doctoral education in the United States for its imbalanced Ph.D.-to-job ratio, citing some stunning statistics: From 1973 to 2006, for example, the number of biological-sciences Ph.D. recipients in tenure-track positions six years after receiving their degree dropped from 55 percent to 15 percent, and it continues to fall. We are producing more and more Ph.D.’s, and every year there are fewer faculty positions for those graduates to fill.

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