Science Careers Forum The Science Careers Forum is a professional, industrial, academic, and postdoctoral forum covering topics related to employment and career development in scientific and engineering careers. 2019-02-28T11:01:41-05:00 2019-02-28T11:01:41-05:00 2019-02-28T11:01:41-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • The Science Careers Forum is now CLOSED]]>
As Science Careers evolves to serve a changing science community, we have been shifting toward providing shorter advice articles from our editors and from scientists with diverse backgrounds in the Working Life column, as well as an increased presence in the science community on social media. We will continue to offer a variety of free career resources including the job board and myIDP, an individual development plan.

Thank you for years of sharing your questions, contributions, expertise, and career advice. We hope you found the Forum a valuable resource, and invite you to connect with us in the greater world of social media on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Our sincere thanks also to the forum moderator, Dave Jensen, and to all of the advisors over the years who have given so generously of their time and expertise to serve the scientific community.


The Science Careers Team

Statistics: Posted by Sean S. — Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:01 am

2019-01-07T16:51:53-05:00 2019-01-07T16:51:53-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: IMPORTANT MESSAGE about the Science Careers Forum]]> As we wind down the forum, we have decided to keep it available for read-only access. No new topics or replies to previous messages can be posted. The final date for closure is still to be determined.

The new Forum has been moved to at the following link:

The Science Careers Team

Statistics: Posted by Sean S. — Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:51 pm

2018-12-26T16:50:29-05:00 2018-12-26T16:50:29-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Millenials in the Workplace]]>

Statistics: Posted by Dave Jensen — Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:50 pm

2018-12-19T13:46:41-05:00 2018-12-19T13:46:41-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Millenials in the Workplace]]> ... e-4807490/

Some of the commenters disagree with my initial assessment that this is a generational phenomenon. I am changing my mind on that as well. I think now it is more of a trend in US culture towards rudeness, excusing it as merely non-PC (politically correct). It doesn't help that some leaders at the highest level of our government use the same excuse.

Statistics: Posted by Andrew — Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:46 pm

2018-12-18T10:12:42-05:00 2018-12-18T10:12:42-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: What are the major career issues troubling you this holiday season?]]>
Otherwise a lot of things are changing in the company I work for. We still have significant growth and a lot of other things are changing. Together this should provide lots of opportunities during the coming years. Exactly how this will play out should become more clear during 2019.

Statistics: Posted by PG — Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:12 am

2018-12-11T12:32:48-05:00 2018-12-11T12:32:48-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • What are the major career issues troubling you this holiday season?]]>
As we get close to the New Year, it's always a good time to think about what we might do different in the future.

What are the major issues that are bugging you about your career as we close the year out? While the forum will not be continuing here, it will have a life again at another location, and we'll pick up the topic despite whether you post your concern today or on December 31.

Thanks for all that you've done to build a wonderful resource for young scientists.

Dave Jensen, Forum Founder and Moderator

Statistics: Posted by Dave Jensen — Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:32 pm

2018-12-05T22:36:45-05:00 2018-12-05T22:36:45-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Afraid of sales - am I not made for this?]]>
My colleague, Dr. Ryan Raver, was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin and earned his PhD. He went on to a career in Product Management for companies like Promega and Sigma, and of course now he's a headhunter. But he wrote a nice website with a lot of information on it about the Product Manager career track -- it's on a site called "The Grad Student Way" and is accessible at I'm not sure that Ryan has added to it, but he certainly built a nice resource of articles and he's still accessible for questions, although he's working his tail off at CTI and has limited time to email! He also has a regular column in the pharma journal, Contract Pharma.

Dave Jensen, Moderator

Statistics: Posted by Dave Jensen — Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:36 pm

2018-12-05T17:59:36-05:00 2018-12-05T17:59:36-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Afraid of sales - am I not made for this?]]>
Most of those positions - Country Manager, Key Accounts, Sales Manager, etc. you do not need to worry about - as a new sales person, you are not qualified for any of them. Those are positions that you move into after you have proved yourself in sales. Typically, you can move from sales into a product manager position - if you are successful in sales. If you want to be a product manager in software, I would suggest applying for a field sales position in software - particularly with a company that you would like to work for.

An alternative path is to be successful at capital equipment sales, move to software sales (sales being a relatively transferable skill) and then upwards into product management. However - remember that sales skills are only transferable if you were successful at the last position - just like everything else.

Good luck,


Statistics: Posted by Dick Woodward — Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:59 pm

2018-12-05T11:11:59-05:00 2018-12-05T11:11:59-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: The Forum is Moving -- Please stand by for announcement!]]> Statistics: Posted by PG — Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:11 am

2018-12-03T10:44:38-05:00 2018-12-03T10:44:38-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • R01 funding]]> Statistics: Posted by Dayne West — Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:44 am

2018-12-02T14:02:33-05:00 2018-12-02T14:02:33-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • The Forum is Moving -- Please stand by for announcement!]]>
As many of you know, this forum discussion on Science Careers has been active for more than 20 years and has helped many young scientists get a clear understanding of the job market or their career options. Early readers of the forum (from when it was hosted by are now founders, CEO's or VP's of R&D in the life sciences, or even Professors at well known universities. Our little discussion has become an institution of its own, and I'm happy to say that even though the AAAS has chosen not to continue hosting the forum due to the costs of design integration into their website, we have another well-known host which is picking it up and reinvesting in the idea. Our community will continue to thrive and we hope the advisors and regular readers will follow us along to the new site, which will be active as of January 1, 2019.

I want to make sure that the AAAS knows how much we've appreciated their more-than-a-decade commitment to the idea of peers helping peers . . . It's become an important resource and it's great news that it's being continued elsewhere.

Thanks for all your interest in the past and here's to a wonderful holiday season for all,

Regards, Dave Jensen, Forum Founder and Moderator

Statistics: Posted by Dave Jensen — Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:02 pm

2018-11-30T02:22:59-05:00 2018-11-30T02:22:59-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Afraid of sales - am I not made for this?]]>
I have looked at many profiles on LinkedIn and it looks that a sales career is something I am not sure about. Sales - Key Account - Sales Manager - Country Manager - etc.

I am more looking to move close to product definition and strategy. My current preferred job would be product manager. Is sales the right move? I love science, tech and the commercial part. However I am not the guy with the most self confidence:).

Does a sales consultant for capital equipment lead to a product manager in software or shall I look further?

Thank you all

Statistics: Posted by Ralf K. — Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:22 am

2018-11-28T22:44:37-05:00 2018-11-28T22:44:37-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Afraid of sales - am I not made for this?]]>
With capital equipment, you'd be selling something tangible. There will be shiny buttons to press - and bright lights to flash - and parts to break down and be replaced. It's also going to be a durable product that's going to be around for some time (we can all probably point to the workhorse machine in a lab that's been in use for 50 years and is still going strong). You may wind up selling supplies, but you're going to be pretty much booking revenue once over a short term.

Software is much more of an intangible product. There's nothing you can touch, and nothing physical to replace if it breaks. You also generally don't "sell" the product - you sell access to it (i.e. a license). Your revenue stream is therefore much more stable, but it also means you have to constantly make sure your customer renews their license.

Statistics: Posted by Rich Lemert — Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:44 pm

2018-11-28T16:53:44-05:00 2018-11-28T16:53:44-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Afraid of sales - am I not made for this?]]>
Now my last question: Do you see a major difference in capital sales (large labautomation) VS software sales? I would prefer the software sales, especially as I have next to my scientific background a strong software experience. I see myself as a technical sales, sales consultant but prefer the software side.

I don't want to be a job hopper as soon as another opportunity exists...

Statistics: Posted by Ralf K. — Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:53 pm

2018-11-28T16:33:32-05:00 2018-11-28T16:33:32-05:00 <![CDATA[Science Careers Forum • Re: Research funding]]> Statistics: Posted by Dayne West — Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:33 pm