Where concept

Keep track of your students!

Something I have always found disturbing is the fact that no one seems to know what happened with that previous colleague that left the academic path to look for a job in the private sector. OK, this is probably much more true in High Energy Physics than in other areas, but that’s my field…

If you ask your PhD advisor about any colleague or student that is still in academia, you can be sure he will tell you exactly where he is, what he is doing, and every step in the way that he took to get there. Even if he only met the guy once, ten years ago in some conference. However, if you ask him about someone that left academia, then his most probably answer is “He quitted”, and nothing else. Even if he was his PhD student. Where did he go? what kind of job is he doing? Is he happy? No clue. No one in academia seems to know. It’s like they vanished all of a sudden.

Here in Beyond-Physics we want to thank those few institutions or research groups that try to keep track of their previous students or postdocs, even if they are working in the private sector. We think it helps to reduce the enormous gap and lack of communication between academic and private sectors. And it can be useful for young researchers that are looking for options out of academia. After all, it’s a no-brainer that not all young researchers will get a tenured position…

Our intention is to collect here links of those institutions that do keep track of previous members not anymore in academia. We will update the post with new links if you find them. Please use the comments here or in Facebook/Twitter to let us know about any link of this sort.

As a first link, we leave here this one at the Nuclear Theory Group at the University of Washington: “Past grad students in Industry“, where you can see where some of their students went after their PhD. I guess that the list of companies (Boeing, McKinsey, Intel, Siemens, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, …) show that a PhD in theoretical nuclear physics is not a complete waste of time. ;)

Please use the comments to let us know about other websites like this one!

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