Are you considering a career in academia?

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If you have graduated from medical school and you love the thought of teaching or working in a field that is associated with teaching, there are several roles you can choose from within academia. To those who love it and who choose it intentionally, a career in academia can be immensely satisfying. To those who stumble upon it by mistake, it can be an overwhelming and frustrating path. To be successful in the academic world, personally, professionally and financially, it is important that you truly have a thirst for gaining and imparting knowledge and love this line of work.

Here are a few things you should give careful consideration to before choosing this particular field.

Pre-medical students in the hospital laboratory Assess your love for research work

Do you love spending endless hours on research? If you aren’t completely committed to your research and you are just waiting for it to be over, maybe you shouldn’t go into this field. Those who go into academia must love looking for answers and continuously strive to improve their research or else it will be an exercise in frustration.

Consider whether you really enjoy teaching

However much a person may try to stick to research and not interact with others, those in the academic field will usually be called upon to teach at some point in time. This means that you should be ready to impart your knowledge and interact well with students. Not everybody is cut out to be a teacher and if you don’t like it, you can find it exceedingly difficult.

Take a closer look at the available job prospects

Before you commit yourself to the field of academia, take a good look at your job opportunities in the field. Look at the people who have been in the academic field in the area that you want to work in. Are these the kind of positions you want and you will be happy with?

Think about what matters most to you

You have to decide what exactly you are looking for in a career. Do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to make a difference in the world? Prioritise your needs and wants and only then should you take a call on whether this line is right for you. Take a closer look at the pros and cons and see if this career path will lead you to your final goals.

If you’ve got your heart set on a career in academia, don’t let anything dissuade you from achieving your goals. However, if you have any doubts and are sitting on the fence about it, the above few points will help you make a more informed decision as to whether or not this is the right field for you. 

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