A Post-Doc is NOT your only career option

Credit: Arek Socha from Pixabay

You’ve spent hours on grad school applications, GRE’s, and now you’ve made it. Graduate school is a whirlpool of emotions, ups, downs, successes, and failures. It can be research intensive, teaching intensive, or maybe even both. In the end, everyone in graduate school has their own journey. Despite the long and countless hours of research that dictate five to six years of our lives, we all end our graduate journeys with a Ph.D. However, the next chapter in our lives won’t always match with one another.  Contrary to popular belief, a Post-Doc is NOT the only career option. What defines your Ph.D. and the value it holds is what you chose to do AFTER. Ph.D.’s need to obtain a better understanding of their non-academic career options. Due to the competitive nature of academia, many Ph.D.’s find their calling elsewhere and ultimately end up in an alternative STEM Ph.D. careers.

While we often feel as though our dissertation research is deep down a rabbit hole that narrows our focus to a fault, the scope of our knowledge is actually vast. The skills developed during graduate school are extremely valuable and transferrable.

Top Transferrable skills of a Ph.D.

  1. Grant Writing
  2. Managing people and budgets
  3. Critical and Creative thinking
  4. Publishing
  5. Project Management
  6. Problem Solving
  7. Presentation skills
  8. Research Design
  9. Data Analysis and Synthesis
  10. Teamwork

With these skills, there are ample opportunities for Ph.D. graduates to pursue. These are just a few of the options available.

  1. Field Application scientist
  2. Technical Writer
  3. Medical Science Liaison
  4. Technical Applications
  5. Medical Scientist
  6. Industrial Research and Design Scientist
  7. Faculty Member (Professor)
  8. Field Scientist
  9. Patent Writing and Technology Transfer
  10. Scientific Advisor

Therefore, consider exploring some new fields as you pursue your Ph.D. Whether you are a first year student or ready to graduate, it is never too late to explore new avenues.

By Indira Purushothaman, Associate Editor

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