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Session 71 - Survival Guide for Young Astronomers.
Special, Oral session, Thursday, June 11

[71.02] To Boldly Go: Practical Career Advice for Young Scientists

P. Fiske (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Young scientists in nearly every field are finding the job market of the 1990's a confusing and frustrating place. Ph.D. supply is far larger than that needed to fill entry-level positions in "traditional" research careers. More new Ph.D. and Master's degree holders are considering a wider range of careers in and out of science, but feel ill-prepared and uninformed about their options. Some feel their Ph.D. training has led them to a dead-end.

I present a thorough and practical overview to the process of career planning and job hunting in the 1990's, from the perspective of a young scientist. I cover specific steps that young scientists can take to broaden their horizons, strengthen their skills, and present their best face to potential employers. An important part of this is the realization that most young scientists possess a range of valuable "transferable skills" that are highly sought after by employers in and out of science. I will summarize the specifics of job hunting in the 90's, including informational interviewing, building your network, developing a compelling CV and resume, cover letters, interviewing, based on my book "To Boldly Go: A Practical Career Guide for Scientists". I will also identify other resources available for young scientists. Finally, I will highlight individual stories of Ph.D.-trained scientists who have found exciting and fulfilling careers outside the "traditional" world of academia.

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Program listing for Thursday