From PhD to Life: Advice for PhDs seeking non-faculty jobs

Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017

"PhDs can feel boxed into a limited range of job options, particularly just after graduate school or a postdoc. But doctoral degree holders work in a wide range of roles."

"In terms of what skills PhDs bring to employers, Mylynka Kilgore Cardona argues it’s easy to overlook them all. “We are so conditioned in grad school to reach for a tenure-track job that we forget that we have a lot of skills that are really desirable in the non-academic world. All of the things I do in my day-to-day work are things I honed in my doctoral program – research, writing, editing, project management, public speaking. These skills are so valued outside academia and are wanted!” Dr. Cardona did a PhD in history and now works as a map curator at the Texas General Land Office. “I think the most important piece of advice I would give to academics seeking non-faculty positions is to be confident in your abilities,” she says."

"At the end of the day, many doctorate degree holders work in roles where they do work they find meaningful, rewarding, and engaging, even if it looks different from how they imagined it would. “The most surprising thing about work after my PhD is that I’m still finding meaningful research questions, just in a different context,” says Megan Brown, a psychology PhD who works as a data scientist at Amazon. “Ultimately, I’m still motivated by the same things: making life better for people based on research, interesting questions, and teamwork.”

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