Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Recent Physics PhDs - Skills Used and Satisfaction With Employment

The AIP has released its latest statistics on recent PhDs. This one is from the graduating class of 2009 and 2010, meaning that these people graduated and entered the job market at the height of the economic meltdown. This survey asked about the skills used in their jobs, and the level of satisfaction in those jobs.

The non-surprising aspect here is the set of skills needed between postdocs and those in the private sectors:

Differences by type of position can be readily inferred from the previous figures. Postdocs were far more likely than PhDs in the private sector to regularly do basic research and utilize advanced physics principles regularly in their work. A large proportion of PhDs in the private sector were regularly involved in design and development, applied research, and quality control.

These differences reflect inherent differences in these types of employment; postdocs are temporary positions with research agendas largely motivated by scientific exploration, while jobs in the private sector typically involve producing a tangible product for a customer or providing a service to a client.
A lot of data also on the job satisfaction, and whether they had sufficient mentoring from their advisors.


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