Dooming future and uncertainity after a PhD!

Who would agree that after being trained for 5 plus years doing a doctorate, the universities would churn up minds that are unemployable? Isn't it time to create jobs for our highly trained minds instead of not letting them leave this vicious cycle of experience? It is also possible to shut the labs and save government funding of fellowships and projects for the training of such manpower which would be deemed unfit for further pursuits of research. What do we really have to be gained by producing research articles that would be dumped in the bin of low impact factor journals, which would never be seen with much respect by the high brow science community?

"What PhD training does the best is to inculcate a sense of responsibility, ownership towards one's actions and guilt for one's inaction, which are the driving forces for any PhD student to complete his/her research goals on time."

What PhD training does the best is to inculcate a sense of responsibility, ownership towards one's actions and guilt for one's inaction, which are the driving forces for any PhD student to complete his/her research goals on time. Still the future looks bleak for such highly trained minds, but what are the reasons for it? 

1. PhD students don't communicate effectively!
Any PI would say the same for his/her PhD student that they can't describe their work well. The fact that they have been making a project work, which took eons to be published suggests the same. But, then in making that possible these students do communicate with their peers in trying to complete their work with a scarcity of resources and funds. If they had not been good at communicating they would never be able to finish their PhD in the first place in the current scenario that exists in many labs.

2. PhDs are not used to facing rejection!
Most of the PhDs face rejection on a daily basis in the labs, with their research work, from submitting a manuscript to asking for a reagent from the PI. Nobody, can thus be as resilience as a PhD. This kind of makes it easier for these resilient souls to be rejected. This too is a skill that should be valued by recruiters, but goes unnoticed instead.

3. PhD students don't network! 
Yes, the ones who have found an alternate career or are living their beautiful-science-lab dream would say that it takes time to find a job and you need to network, but were we all really good in networking when we chose science. I remember being an introvert who used to spend time reading books, which served as a haven and thus, science appeared to be a profession best suited for such a person's character or that is what I thought. It now appears that curiosity and a passion for learning new things is not enough to pursue a real career in/after science.

4. PhD students don't work on developing a secondary skill!
They remain too engrossed in their research pursuits that they fail to develop accessory skills that can support a career outside research. Being a multi-tasker is more appreciated than being too narrowly focused. What can one gain by being super specialized in the expression of a single protein in a mammalian cell? Although, being a multitasker is not possible, that isn't how our brain works. The ones who say they can multitask are lying. This though does not change the fact that PhDs do need to take up a new skill while they are still pursuing PhD and it isn't worth it to spend each and every minute of their time on thinking about their thesis. This not only deprives them of the time in which they can learn something other than science but also makes them susceptible to mental health issues.

5. PhD students have a poor mental health that goes unnoticed!
They become susceptible to developing depression and anxiety over the condition of not just their on-going research but also thinking about the dwindling options once they manage to finish their degree.
A society where talking about mental health is still taboo and scientists are anyways considered as freaks, comes as no consolation for the young researchers or gives them any credits for their future credentials. It still is a welcome change that many instututes have started an open dialougue between research students to discuss mental health and there are dedicated people who are there to listen to and provide professional help to them. We still are a long way from providing the kind of mental health support that PhDs need. The PIs and the peers can atleast ensure that nobody is suffering in silence over things that can be cured. 

So, how can we escape the dooming future that lies ahead? I'm sure that each PhD trained mind can find a way to beat this uncertainty. At least that's what PhD did teach us, to create a path where none exists.

1 comment:

  1. It's a nice article, Which you have shared here about the grant writing services. Your article is very informative and I really liked the way you expressed your views in this post. grant writing services in VancouverThank you.