Reflections Newsletter

Issue 7, August 2021

After a brief summer hiatus, my Reflections newsletter returns to its monthly format. Look for it in your inbox the final Thursday of each month. In it, I discuss trends in higher education and share resources and information on career & professional development topics relevant for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and those who support them.

Missed the inaugural newsletter in January? Read it here​.


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Reflections Blog: August 2021


Ph.D. Employment Trends - Insights from Survey of Doctorate Recipients

This month's blog post focuses on various insights gleaned from the National Science Foundation's 2019 Survey of Doctorate Recipients. The data was released in April 2021 and contains information on what sectors employ Ph.D.s, how many are in faculty positions, as well as salary data. 

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Revisiting Past Blog Posts

As we gear up for the faculty hiring season this Fall, I share some resources and advice on preparing your materials and navigating the process. 

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I highlight tools and resources to assist you in assessing your skills, interests, and values and exploring career paths available to you via informational interviews. 

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Considering doing a postdoc after your Ph.D.? What are the pros and cons? Read more on my perspective as a postdoc and now a professional supporting postdocs.

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The Value of Master's Degrees

The Great Master's-Degree Swindle (Chronicle of Higher Education)

A scathing Wall Street Journal article on The Elite Master's Degrees That Don't Payoff in addition to the commentary above have called into question the value of some Master's degree programs. Given there is essentially no limit to the amount of Federal student loans that can be taken out for graduate school, there can be massive dislocations between the costs (debt) a graduate student undertakes for their education and ultimately how much they can earn after receiving their degree.  

Certainly the return on investment in Master's degree programs will vary by field but also more needs to be known about whether the skills and competencies obtained in these programs helps prepare students for future careers. Some work has been or plans to be conducted to begin addressing these questions. 

A newly-funded study between NSF and the Council of Graduate Schools Understanding Roles of Masters Education in Entry Into, and Upskilling and Reskilling for, the STEM Workforce plans to collect more data on the efficacy of Master's programs preparing, upskilling, and reskilling the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce. 

For more on how Master's programs prepare students for careers in the biomedical sciences, see this 2020 PLOS One publication out of Georgetown University

More to Explore - Resources for Trainees & Those Supporting Them

Explore Job Search & Funding Resources On My Website

For Further Reading & Exploration

More About Me
Carpe Careers Column
National Science Foundation Data
Data on PhD & Postdoc Training: NGLS 
GCC Professional Development Webinars
Career & Professional Development Research

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