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How lab leaders can support students’ non-academic career plans

Although many PhD students are aware of the limited job prospects in academia, few have the resources or support they need to pursue non-academic careers. In 2020, only 10% of engineering PhD graduates and 16% of those in physical and earth sciences ended up in academic positions in the United States, according to the National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates.

And, according to the 2019 Nature survey of PhD students (see Nature 575, 403–406; 2019 [1]), only 26% of this group said their programme had prepared them ‘very well’ for a satisfying career. Nature will rerun the survey later this year.

Laboratory leaders are uniquely positioned to help their graduate students to learn about non-academic career opportunities and gain experiences outside of the laboratory to make them competitive for these jobs. Four scientists share advice about what principal investigators (PIs) can do to support students who are interested in non-academic careers.


Read the full article and what the PI’s had to say on the Nature Careers Website: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00162-y [2]