Professional societies can play a vital role in career development

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Ph.D.s in the life sciences are seeking nonacademic careers in large numbers, and private sector employment is reaching an all-time high. In this climate, trainees are seeking mentors and opportunities to understand and explore different career paths. Scientific societies such as the Society for Developmental Biology play vital roles in professional development to support members at all stages of their careers and promote a range of employment opportunities. To this end, the Professional Development and Education Committee of the society offers full day workshops and sessions at regional and annual meetings that support constituents throughout their careers. For example, a new GetHIRED! workshop the day before the 2019 annual society meeting was developed as an interactive job skills workshop for postdoctoral fellows to gain insights into the job application process. The committee also aims to advocate for innovative approaches to teaching and science literacy in both the classroom and through outreach activities. The activities offered by scientific societies can reach a broader audience than individual institutions, and have lasting impacts in the quality of their members’ careers by augmenting professional development opportunities.


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