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The Scientific Job Market - What is your Phd. Worth?

Publish Date: 17-05-2018
Country: The Netherlands

The Scientific Job Market - What is your Phd. Worth?

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The average time it takes for a student to become a full-fledged Phd. Life Scientist is around 8,5 years. The amount of people who are willing to study this long is very low. Most people get the itch to start a career and earn some salary during their fourth year as a student. So the question is, will this extra time and energy be rewarded?

The answer is yes and no. Although the Life Sciences job market is showing steady growth, a lot of people still claim that a doctorate doesn’t add value to their career compared to the effort for such recognition. We at SIRE Life Sciences® don’t agree with this statement at all and would like to show you why.


Job opportunity

The Life Sciences industry is quite rigid thanks to the dependence of their market for life sustaining products and/or services. This means that there isn’t much fluctuation in the amount of jobs available. There only is an continuous upward trend thanks to globalisation within the many relevant sectors. This means that outside academic job opportunities lies a big pool of companies looking for you. However, you are not the only one who is eligible for jobs in this market. Specialisation is key for the job opportunity, this means that other degrees like masters can apply for the function just as well if they have a relevant education.

The people who have a Phd. in their pocket enjoy a certain amount of prestige on their name. Of course prestige alone won’t get you anywhere in these days but it can definitely provide you with an added value. As a person you need to make sure that beside having the paper which proves you are the best of the best on an intellectual level, you need to have transferrable skills. Many companies look for skills like communication, time management, independence, prioritising etc. If you can get hard evidence that you have these skills, companies will be standing in line for you.

Keep in mind that scientists learn more in graduate schools than just the research aspects of their field of study. Skills like computer programming and analysing statistics are just two examples of the added value one could contribute to a company. 


Academic environment

Those who have a Phd. don’t need this accreditation because of the mountains of money they can earn. They are known for their ambition in the sense that they want to challenge themselves to new heights and explore new things that will contribute to society. We are not going to lie, the possibilities to be employed in an academic environment such as universities is becoming more scarce but the gratification from the work you could do is well worth the effort.

A very popular alternative is being part of a start-up company. The combination of academic intelligence and drive to perform is the perfect breeding ground for new patents and groundbreaking research. 

All in all having a Phd. is definitely an added value to your career. You just need to figure out where your priorities are. Is it going to be money, prestige or the intellectual challenge?




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