So what to make of Jyllian Kemsley's interesting article about the troubles that postdocs are having finding assistant professor positions? The person I feel most sorry for is "Sarah" who is on her 2nd postdoc and now considering a career in industry. Not only has she devoted a lot of time (a 2nd postdoc! chemists aren't biologists!) to finding a faculty position, now she's thinking about industry. While I don't feel sorry for the person who will be bumped when Sarah enters the industrial job market (all's fair and all of that), it does illustrate the difficulty that the job market is having digesting both experienced chemists that have been laid off, very experienced postdocs and the newer postdocs and graduate students that are still coming fresh off the grad school factory floor.
Prediction: over the next two years, it will become very difficult for graduate students to directly transition into industry. That, or we're going to see a big group of folks leave chemistry. Or, both.
hat tip: Everyday Scientist.
*Yeah, I don't think that the distribution is that even between academic types and industrial types in quality or quantity. I'm guessing it's more like 3-to-1 for industry, population-wise. I stole the graph from here.