Beginning with this June issue, Oceanography will include “career profiles” of marine scientists who have pursued successful and fulfilling careers outside of academia (see the last couple of pages of this issue). By presenting information that is directed at graduate students, this new feature should fill a gap in the magazine. Presenting career profiles is an idea that arose from informal discussions at the recent Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland, Oregon, which highlighted the need to advise ocean sciences graduate students about careers options other than teaching and/or research in a university setting. The Oceanography Society, and Oceanography in particular, will do our best to provide that information through the new career profiles feature.
The next steps were to assemble an initial list of scientists to profile and develop a series of questions to ask them. Here are some of those questions:
• Degree: When, where, what, and what in?
• Did you stay in academia at all, and if so, for how long?
• How did you go about searching for a job outside of the university setting?
• Is this the only job (post-academia) that you've had? If not, what else did you do?
• What is your current job? What path did you take to get there?
• Is the job satisfying? What aspects of the job do you like best/least?
• What did your oceanographic education (or academic career) give you that is useful in your current job?
• Do you have any recommendations for new grads looking for jobs?
To make this new careers column a success, Oceanography readers will need to pitch in—most importantly, with suggestions about who to profile, including their contact information (send to email@example.com). Finding the right subjects is a challenging task, especially because their contact with academia often has been limited—or perhaps nonexistent—for a long time. The first career profile clearly shows that there IS life—and a good one—outside of academia. I went back to my academic roots to nab a person to submit this initial profile. Please consult your roots, your Rolodex, or your iPhone or Blackberry contacts folders and provide Oceanography with information about people you know whose career paths might inspire, or at least inform, the next generation.
– Ellen S. Kappel, Editor