Books et al.Education

Beyond “publish or perish”

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Science  02 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6256, pp. 49
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac7868

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Experts have been debating whether we are training too many Ph.D.s for the jobs that exist for more than 40 years, but is this really the problem? While acknowledging that some reduction in the number of trainees may be necessary, Leonard Cassuto has a different solution to the glut of graduate trainees. He believes that focusing on how and what we teach, as well as training our students to teach will help improve the career prospects for the next generation of Ph.D.s. In The Graduate School Mess, Cassuto traces the challenges facing graduate institutions, including antiquated admissions policies; incoherent course offerings; esoteric, gatekeeping qualifying exams; long times to degrees; and failure to prepare students for diverse career outcomes. Though these have been described elsewhere, reviewer Johanna Gutlerner praises the novelty of his proposed solutions.