In each year between 1994 and 1996, more than 7,000 individuals received a Ph.D. in life-science, and the number of graduates is rising sharply. If present trends continue, about half of those graduates will have found permanent positions as independent researchers within ten years after graduation. These statistics--and the labor market situation they reflect--can be viewed either positively or negatively depending on whether one is a young scientist seeking a career or an established investigator whose productivity depends on the labor provided by an abundant number of graduate students.
This book examines the data concerning the production of doctorates in life-science and the changes in the kinds of positions graduates have obtained. It discusses the impact of those changes and suggests ways to deal with the challenges of supply versus demand for life-science Ph.D. graduates. Trends in the Early Careers of Life Scientists will serve as an information resource for young scientists deciding on career paths and as a basis for discussion by educators and policymakers as they examine the current system of education linked to research and decide if changes in that system are needed.