As much as I can, I will post helpful links for career planning for trainees. While there is a lot of vague crap written about transitioning into industry from academic science, there are a few gems. The future of PhD education is clearly to train people as innovators who can compete in a wide variety of potential fields. For several years this has been clear to those of us coming through the current PhD and postdoc system, however the academic community in general is trying to catch up (see the April 21st issue of Nature). My own view is that this is a fantastic opportunity to reinvent PhD training and that it will start at the grassroots. A modern PhD should encompass: (1) A major scientific contribution that establishes the creditability of the candidate at an international level; (2) Successful development and management of a highly innovative project; (3) Development of outstanding communication skills; (4) Development of exceptional data analysis skills; and (5) Development of collaboration and team work skills. This combination could prepare talented individuals for leadership roles in a wide variety of fields.
A new program at the Keck Institute looks like a good bet for PhDs trained in the sciences who want to use their graduate training to make a major move into management. Here are some resources to help one start to learn about this avenue: