Can you have success as a failure?
Why go to graduate school? To win a Nobel Prize one day? You like the work (me)? Someone has offered you a position (Paid to learn – great!)? There are many reasons to start – and complete – a PhD. Current academic training creates many candidates for limited career positions. Much has been written about this and we’ll be discussing different aspects at #scio13. BioInfoToolswrote a background piece for this session with some great links.
But training many talented people for a few coveted spots is not unique to science; it’s common in classical musicians, athletes, and more. Is a classically trained pop star a failure? Is a hockey player who pays the bills playing in the minors a failure? It depends if you base your definition of success on the training criteria or on other measures. I don’t think scientists who aren’t tenured academics are failing, but it is often a hurdle for trainees to accept new measures of success.
To read more about my experience in classical music and academic science, please go to the original post.