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Re: Job Field - Bioinformatist

by bobf (Monsignor)
on Jan 22, 2010 at 05:44 UTC ( #818896=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Job Field - Bioinformatist

Work in a lab, do a post doc, and then start your own lab.

That is the traditional career path in academia, but that is not the only one. There are many alternative roles that you can play other than PI (especially in a field that is evolving so rapidly), including those that are entirely collaborative or supportive in nature.

For some reason, it seems like a lot of pressure too soon -- I'd like a little more experience before I'm suddenly bestowed an entire lab to myself!
Earning a PhD and completing a postdoc does not mean you will end up with your own lab. You must work very hard to get funding (and lots of it) before an institution will give you the opportunity to start your own lab. That means it is entirely in your control. If you don't want to run an independent lab, don't apply for the funding to do it.

Post-doc'ing has a limited time frame. ... Where you can do really cool research, help develop methodology and get your programming on, all the while actually building a career and resume beyond 3 / 4 year stints?
Academic postdocs are intended to be short-term positions that fill out your CV in specific areas, chosen based on the direction you would like your career to go. Drill down into a specialized area of research, or develop some statistical/analytical expertise, or expand your programming skills... it is up to you. In academia, these 3-4 year stints are not only accepted, they are encouraged. In fact, staying in one place "too long" during that stage of your career can be a negative; future employers want to see a breadth of experience at a variety of institutions.

I may be really unaware of things, because I am coming off of doing a B.S. primarily in Biology.
This may sound cliche, but you still have plenty of time to figure out what you want to do with your life. :-) Take a little time, work towards a masters, and see where it takes you. It is surprising how much one changes and matures (academically) in the first two years of grad school.

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