So you’ve finished your undergraduate degree and have a penchant for independent critical thinking and a taste for research. You’ve spent time in a research lab, talked to professors and considered alternative careers. After much thought, you settle upon graduate studies and begin a path towards your chosen career.
Graduate school represents a new and challenging experience. But once the initial allure wears thin, the personal sacrifice, long hours, and research frustration begins to show. As frightening as it may seem, you are not alone.
According to Statistics Canada, there were approximately 120,000 Bachelor’s, 20,000 Master’s and 3,100 recently graduated PhD students in 1992. By 2007, this number had increased to 175,000 Bachelor’s, 35,000 Master’s and 4,800 PhD graduates. In the last 5 years, the numbers have continued to rise as Canada aims to be on par with the United States in the creation of a highly specialized and educated future workforce. That’s you. With more students graduating than ever before, it is important to make the most of your training and actively prepare for your future outside of graduate school.
In this issue of IMMpress Magazine, we discuss the difficulties of transitioning into and out of your graduate studies in the hopes of providing perspective to undergraduate students and advice to our incoming and current colleagues. When every Master’s and PhD student succeeds on their unique career path, we all benefit. Look for our feature articles on the student rotation system and entering medical school after completing your degree. This issue also has a special feature on the undergraduate experience at the University of Toronto with perspectives from two current summer students.
I would like to thank our supportive chair, Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker, for his faith in our abilities and vision and our many sponsors for their continued support. I would also like to thank the entire IMMpress Magazine team for putting together another wonderful edition, especially our managing editor and design director, Charles Tran.
Finally, I would like to encourage everyone to visit our website, www.immpressmagazine.com, to leave us with your thoughts and comments. We welcome feedback and open discussion of these topics. Your opinions are important and will help shape the future of our Department.