What are the career opportunities after PhD completion? Do I have scope outside academia?

PhD helps in growth in the academic sector. This is known by all. People who are teaching or wish to teach in the academia take up the PhD degree course because growth and development in this industry is not possible without doctoral degree. But at the same time, is academia the only gateway for all the people who pursue PhD? Are there other career alternatives and options that could pursued by PhDs where they could utilise their research skills and acquired knowledge and look for growth and development that is parallel, if not better than academia.

Most often we see PhD graduates pursuing one of the following professions:

  1. Higher education teaching professionals
  2. Researchers at the university
  3. Clinical psychologists
  4. Medical practitioners( applicable for some subjects)
  5. Educational counsellors /psychologists

Having an academic job is common among PhD graduates but even in the world beyond, a great number of opportunities exist. The private sector organisations have become highly research oriented and this has opened up a lot of opportunities for researchers in recent years to venture out into the corporate.

How to succeed in the academia?

It is a struggle to find a permanent job in the academic industry. To make sure that you have the best opportunity and you do not miss onto any good opening:

  • Have a strong networking with other academicians in your field.
  • Keep exploring the websites of various universities that are feasible to you and interest you.
  • You must attend a lot of academic events, conferences and seminars to make your presence felt and showcase your knowledge and skills so that you stay fresh in the minds of the people and have scope for referrals.

 How to succeed in the corporate world?

There are many opportunities that can boost your chances of finding a non-academic job. You must:

  • Try to unearth the hidden vacancies that aren’t surfaced out by companies. Networking would help here
  • Try to gain experience in your work field, as much as possible
  • Share your expertise and opinion on social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to get noticeable to the right people.
  • Have a more sector specific and focussed search.

Can I sell my PhD to employers in the corporate?

In the process of applying for a non-academic job, you must know the way to demonstrate your expertise that will benefit your employer. The transferable skills that you have gained through your PhD should be brought forward and highlighted for the employer to notice. These could be:

  • Communication skills
  • Creative thinking
  • The ability to manage things
  • Problem solving abilities

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