Hurdles to the Non-Research Career
At BenchFly, we love science. In fact, our mission is to make science a better career for current and future generations of researchers. Within the larger profession, careers in science may fall into one of two categories, non-research or research-oriented, although the distinction between the two is not always black or white. While those in non-research careers may not physically stand at the bench, their roles in the research process are often just as important. Therefore, as a profession, it is to our advantage to make sure that the best and brightest scientific minds stay in the field in some capacity- whether in a non-research or research capacity.
Many of us begin our scientific careers in research. However, for personal and/or professional reasons some of us may look to move beyond the bench after completing our undergraduate, graduate or postdoctoral work. As MidSci commented in a recent discussion about Escape Velocity: Non-research Oriented Careers on the BenchFly Facebook page, many scientists find themselves asking “Once I get a degree, what can I do with it?”
As it turns out, identifying available non-research career options in only one of many challenges a scientist faces when leaving the lab. In fact, the logistical (“How am I going to pay the bills?!”) and emotional (“Will I lose my identity as a scientist?”) hurdles facing a researcher can be overwhelming and may prevent them from pursuing their true passion. Supporting the transition would benefit the individuals looking to move to non-research careers as well as the research their new jobs would likely support.
In a recent conversation with friend and alternative science careers evangelist Stephanie Huang, we compiled a list of the most common struggles facing scientists in their transition to a non-research career. Whether you’ve made the move, are considering it, or can simply imagine what it would be like, what do you think are the most difficult aspects?
Any other hurdles from your own experience that you’d like to add?
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