30 July, 2010

A story from academia

Getting a permanent job in science is extremely tough. Even if you're superbrilliant and get a tenure-track professorship, it's still very likely that you don't get through. In this case your chances for a permanent job at one of the good universities are scarce, but on the other hand you are probably too old and not competitive enough to get a good job in industry.

Recently we heard a story about Amy Bishop who killed a few people after being denied a tenure at the University of Alabama. Yesterday I was told about a chemistry Professor at MIT, who didn't get tenured after 5 years of tenure-track (acceptance rate is about 50% there). After that he gone completely crazy and joined the US army. He is in Iraq right now.

Take care,



John said...

Some people can leave academia for industry more easily than others. If you've studied something practical and you don't expect to find a job doing exactly what you did in academia, it's not that hard. It wasn't for me.

But once you leave academia, it's nearly impossible to get back in. If you take a job that doesn't involve writing journal articles, you have nothing to show for yourself as far as academia is concerned.

Lemeshko said...

I agree. I know some people who switched back from industry/consulting to academia, but I have no idea whether they got tenured later...