Category Archive: Careers

Apr 15 2014

What will you do with a biology Ph.D.?


This chart of the distribution of the biology workforce is a bit complicated, but somehow dismaying and reassuring at the same time. As it points out, over half of all biology grad students hope for that tenure-track research position, but only a small fraction will get it. That’s the depressing part. But at the same …

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Mar 14 2014

Are you visiting colleges? Here are some questions you should ask

One more story of academic inside baseball — I’ve been following John Wilkins, a brilliant philosopher of science who just can’t get a job, and I’ve been sensing waves of resentment at the rotten state of academia. I will be the first to tell you that I’ve been exceptionally lucky and privileged to get a …

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Mar 14 2014

Negotiation is not a sin

I’ve been in quite a few job searches, on both sides of the table. I think I know what makes for a good job candidate, and I respect one who makes reasonable requests for accommodation. So I was rather shocked by this story in Inside Higher Ed about a candidate who lost a job for …

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Dec 25 2013

I could have used this last semester


I’m on a search committee for a tenure track position in statistics and computer science — we’re looking for someone to teach a data science course, maybe a little bioinformatics on the side, and work with both our statistics and computer science disciplines. I’m the outside member of the committee — you know, the weirdo …

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Nov 02 2013

Wondering how to get an academic job?

Show interest in the local area, no matter how barren

Here’s a four-page comic book guide to the process. It’s very useful and very accurate, although it does leave out the essential tip I discovered when I was going through a long chain of interviews: write down a reminder in your hotel room that says where you are and what university you are at. It’s …

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Oct 27 2013

Missing an opportunity

Given that computer science is one of the majors with the best job prospects, that it’s still a growth industry, how do you account for these proportions? Computer science is an incredibly promising major, especially for a young woman. That and engineering are among the college degrees that can offer the highest incomes and the …

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Jun 25 2013

You mean this stuff helps?

Sue Black recounts her experiences as a woman in computer science. Carrying out research for a PhD in computer science and going to academic conferences I was very much in a minority as a woman. The ratio was around 2:8 female to male, or lower, and sometimes this made things a bit uncomfortable. I remember …

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Aug 22 2012

Your daily academic doom-and-gloom


There is no good news to report. View these summary infographics. Oh, wait, there is some good news of the “screw you, Jack, I got mine” variety: I’m employed in one of those rare tenure-track academic positions. And today I have to start teaching again. I’d better earn my privilege!

Jul 19 2012

Are you an English major looking for work?

I know, you all are. But here’s a job opportunity for a godless, well organized editor. Atheist Alliance International (AAI, atheistalliance.org) will be launching a new magazine in 2013 and we are looking for an Editor to plan and implement a fresh layout and format! AAI has gone through many changes in the last year …

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