In my first blog at Bio Careers, I would like to discuss the options that scientists have when they finish their postdocs. When you are at the limbo phase, you must decide which will be the next move, and for that you need to consider your own natural skills and personality.
There are two main paths, academia and industry. Lots of people believe that academia is a more stable job, mostly because of the tenure-track position, and they are right. Academia is more stable, but besides stability, the person should consider their own natural talents, and what keeps them curious, since curiosity is the base of science. A scientist does not exist or survive without exciting questions or inspiring answers.
In academia, a principal investigator should spend most of his/her time writing grants, because he/she needs to get financial support for all the consumable material in the lab, to pay students and technicians to keep the science going further. So, if you plan to spend time on the bench, and you really enjoy writing, then that is the right path.
On the other hand, if you really like the experimental part, and don’t want to spend time getting funding, industry might be the right path. The freedom is the main difference between both choices. If you are getting your own funding you can direct the research for what you want to know, while if you are in a company, they are going to decide what is better in a “business-like” way.
Although they are two different options, some people are still hesitant. Some believe that people go to industry if they fail in academia, but the truth is they are just two different paths, because we are all different. Each one of us has natural skills, and the smart move is to recognize those and improve them in your choice.