A deep dive analyzing the postdoc shortage
My son just graduated with a PhD in biomedical science. NONE of his classmates are going into academic post-docs. These kids are smart!
This was really interesting! Do you have any data on the mix of postdoc vs industry vs other positions over time for newly-minted PhDs? You have the chart of postdocs hitting an inflection point, but without knowing how the other numbers are changing, it's hard to get the full picture of how much of the decline might comes from competition with industry vs. other sources (eg changes in number of PhDs or funding).
I think we see the same trends in chemistry. Why should a chemist or biologist go for a post doc when they might find equivalent learning, hope, and more money at a startup or large corporation? Further, academia I think has largely worked its grad students and post docs to the point of burnout in the pursuit of an ever decreasing pool of government grants?
I think a post doc serves as a nice way to extend your academic experience though and can be a launching pad for founding a startup or learning a cutting edge technique/skill that only exists in academia.