The declining interest in an academic career
Publication Date
September 18, 2017
Authors
Michael Roach & Henry Sauermann
Volume
12
Issue
9
Pages
e0184130
DOI
https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184130
Publisher URL
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0184130
Scopus
85029586923
Mendeley
http://www.mendeley.com/research/declining-interest-academic-career
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Mendeley | Further Information

{"title"=>"The declining interest in an academic career", "type"=>"journal", "authors"=>[{"first_name"=>"Michael", "last_name"=>"Roach", "scopus_author_id"=>"35369405700"}, {"first_name"=>"Henry", "last_name"=>"Sauermann", "scopus_author_id"=>"6701739384"}], "year"=>2017, "source"=>"PLoS ONE", "identifiers"=>{"pui"=>"618313942", "pmid"=>"28922403", "doi"=>"10.1371/journal.pone.0184130", "issn"=>"19326203", "scopus"=>"2-s2.0-85029586923", "sgr"=>"85029586923", "isbn"=>"1111111111"}, "id"=>"ed234ed2-b780-344f-8b01-ede2d7851bf4", "abstract"=>"There is increasing evidence that science & engineering PhD students lose interest in an academic career over the course of graduate training. It is not clear, however, whether this decline reflects students being discouraged from pursuing an academic career by the challenges of obtaining a faculty job or whether it reflects more fundamental changes in students’ career goals for reasons other than the academic labor market. We examine this question using a longitudinal survey that follows a cohort of PhD students from 39 U.S. research universities over the course of graduate training to document changes in career preferences and to explore potential drivers of such changes. We report two main results. First, although the vast majority of students start the PhD interested in an academic research career, over time 55% of all students remain interested while 25% lose interest entirely. In addition, 15% of all students were never interested in an academic career during their PhD program, while 5% become more interested. Thus, the declining interest in an academic career is not a general phenomenon across all PhD students, but rather reflects a divergence between those students who remain highly interested in an academic career and other students who are no longer interested in one. Second, we show that the decline we observe is not driven by expectations of academic job availability, nor by related factors such as postdoctoral requirements or the availability of research funding. Instead, the decline appears partly due to the misalignment between students’ changing preferences for specific job attributes on the one hand, and the nature of the academic research career itself on the other. Changes in students’ perceptions of their own research ability also play a role, while publications do not. We discuss implications for scientific labor markets, PhD career development programs, and science policy.", "link"=>"http://www.mendeley.com/research/declining-interest-academic-career", "reader_count"=>58, "reader_count_by_academic_status"=>{"Unspecified"=>1, "Professor > Associate Professor"=>5, "Librarian"=>1, "Researcher"=>14, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>1, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>23, "Student > Postgraduate"=>1, "Student > Master"=>3, "Other"=>3, "Student > Bachelor"=>3, "Professor"=>3}, "reader_count_by_user_role"=>{"Unspecified"=>1, "Professor > Associate Professor"=>5, "Librarian"=>1, "Researcher"=>14, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>1, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>23, "Student > Postgraduate"=>1, "Student > Master"=>3, "Other"=>3, "Student > Bachelor"=>3, "Professor"=>3}, "reader_count_by_subject_area"=>{"Unspecified"=>2, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>16, "Arts and Humanities"=>1, "Business, Management and Accounting"=>4, "Computer Science"=>2, "Decision Sciences"=>1, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>1, "Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>1, "Engineering"=>5, "Environmental Science"=>3, "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>5, "Nursing and Health Professions"=>1, "Mathematics"=>1, "Neuroscience"=>1, "Physics and Astronomy"=>2, "Psychology"=>4, "Social Sciences"=>8}, "reader_count_by_subdiscipline"=>{"Social Sciences"=>{"Social Sciences"=>8}, "Decision Sciences"=>{"Decision Sciences"=>1}, "Physics and Astronomy"=>{"Physics and Astronomy"=>2}, "Psychology"=>{"Psychology"=>4}, "Mathematics"=>{"Mathematics"=>1}, "Unspecified"=>{"Unspecified"=>2}, "Environmental Science"=>{"Environmental Science"=>3}, "Arts and Humanities"=>{"Arts and Humanities"=>1}, "Engineering"=>{"Engineering"=>5}, "Neuroscience"=>{"Neuroscience"=>1}, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>{"Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>1}, "Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>{"Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>1}, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>{"Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>16}, "Computer Science"=>{"Computer Science"=>2}, "Business, Management and Accounting"=>{"Business, Management and Accounting"=>4}, "Nursing and Health Professions"=>{"Nursing and Health Professions"=>1}, "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>{"Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>5}}, "group_count"=>1}

Scopus | Further Information

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