Penn Pathfinders

By Susan S. Margulies, PI

The United States has led scientific advancement and education in biomedical science and engineering for the past 50 years empowered by a stellar scientific workforce. As non-traditional career paths continue to expand, the majority of science and engineering PhD graduates increasingly choose careers outside academia, such as teaching, entrepreneurship, policy, and research in industry or government. However, most graduate programs train students for academic careers, thereby failing to adequately acquaint students with alternative career paths, or provide them with the basic tools and experiences to succeed in multiple professional sectors.

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn Pathfinders) focused on a pilot training program that provided trainees in biomedical sciences and engineering with career development opportunities and investigated its effectiveness in comparison to two non-trainee cohorts. The pilot training program appropriately targeted preparing graduate students for a wider range of career pathways through professional skills development and increased awareness of and preparation for non-academic career pathways.

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