There's no denying that doing researchand then sharing your results in the most reproducible way possible while looking for feedback and constructive criticism from your peers is a very different attitude than the mindset that's required to succeed in a business model.
However, the reality is that the probability of landing a job in academia is not addressed enough or even at all during the early stages of training highly skilled ( yet unemployable in some cases) scientists.
However, as useful as the exercise was, in my opinion, instead of taking away the message of "what skills we need to develop ourselves to migrate out of academia" it left me thinking about, why aren't we preparing PhD students with some of those "soft skills" that will give them stronger opportunities to chose a different path?
I wouldn't qualify all of those "soft skills" as positive and in some cases, they are in direct conflict with (what I'd consider) values to be pursuit by scientists.
I think that sharing these sort of stories has the merit of challenging the common believe that pursuing a tenured position is the one and only path, and also, that "if you work hard enough and you'll get it".
In other words, it breaks the bias of being immersed in a world where everyone "guiding" you is already part of the (quoted by one speaker without a link to the source) 0.45% of astronomers who get full professorship.
In few cases, they even described scientists as naïve, time-wasting, romantic yet curious personalities.
All of the workshop happened with a very positive atmosphere though. I appreciated the personal stories shared by those who didn't succeed in getting tenured or full professorship and decided to move to different other activities.
Yet the speakers (professional atronomers who've left academia towards different fields at different stages) also characterized the students trained in #astronomy/#physics #phd programs as lacking several "soft skills" required to succeed in the "real world".
Skills such as communication, ability to meet strict/fast/dynamic deadlines, teamwork, leadership, personal branding, prioritize profit of certain idea, etc.
After a very intensive, two-days workshop about how to move from #academia (#astronomy /(astro)#physics) towards different #industry sectors (private, ngo's, government funded agencies, banking, space industry, etc) I have a lot of mixed feelings.
Few thoughts though.
All of the speakers coincide in that #PhD students develop a solid set of hard skills that are required in many aspects of industry (coding, independent driven research, ability to solve complex problems, etc.)...
Hi! I'm a scientist working with large maps of galaxies (real and simulated).
Also: I'm a Mexican living in Poland, so, you can expect a few pictures of nature, lakes, forests, etc.
Cosmologist. Absolute beginner
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