thank you, guest blogger Bayliss Camp

Let’s all give a heartfelt thanks to guest blogger Bayliss Camp for his informative round of posts on research beyond the Ivory Tower.  Also, thanks to our readers who commented, asked questions, or shared links to Bayliss’s posts via reddit/FB/Twitter.

I invited Bayliss to guest blog because I know that our grad students and readers want to learn more about research careers, but it’s not easy to know how or where to start.  Besides talking with colleagues, visiting your university’s career services and perusing its resources (alumni database, library of books, and workshops) should be on your list.

Some grad students have expressed fears that if they utter any hint that they are exploring careers outside the ivory tower, that this will spoil their relationships with their advisors and colleagues.  As we see with olderwoman’s and other colleagues’ willingness to acknowledge alternative careers and direct students to resources, not all of us share this worldview.  Increasingly, perceptive academics realize that students have a variety of interests and needs (i.e., 2-body constraints), that the contracting number of tenure-track lines cannot absorb the output of Ph.D.s, and that academia and its disciplines would benefit from having its graduates work in many kinds of contexts.

As Bayliss’s post described, colleagues with Ph.D.s work on interesting projects with immediate, real world impact.  They run in-house b-schools at high-performing corporations, evaluate possible regulations and safety issues for driverless cars, examine what’s the ideal minimal interval between jets taking off at airports, design optimal ways of removing old mines to create public parkland, and research other fascinating and important issues.

To revisit Bayliss’s posts, please click below:

Written by katherinechen

December 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Many thanks, Bayliss!



    December 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm

  2. To what extent is this fear (of admitting to aspiring to a non-academic career to advisers or peers) justified? My colleagues all recognize that there are other valuable career choices and that the academic life isn’t for everyone, even if there happened to be TT academic jobs for everyone. And, any adviser who’s paying attention will develop a pretty good sense of which of their students would likely enjoy an academic career and which are likely to be miserable, and most (I’d like to think all) of us genuinely want what’s best for our students.

    Point is, I think olderwoman and Fabio aren’t outliers as much as the norm. It wouldn’t be the first time that the modal belief in one group (grad students) about the modal belief of another group (faculty) is incorrect. (It could also be that Fabio is incorrect in his belief about grad students’ beliefs about faculty beliefs. Unbelievably.)



    December 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm

  3. Sorry, the penultimate sentence should read “Katherine” not “Fabio.”



    December 14, 2013 at 12:50 am

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