Academia is not the only option after getting a PhD degree. There are a variety of career options available to PhD students who are interested in pursuing careers outside academia. Here are some examples:
- Industry: Many industries hire PhDs for research and development positions. These can include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, engineering, and technology companies, among others.
- Government: Many government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy, hire PhDs for research and policy positions.
- Consulting: Consulting firms often hire PhDs as subject matter experts in fields such as healthcare, finance, and technology.
- Science communication: PhDs can work as science journalists, writers, editors, and communicators, helping to translate complex scientific concepts for the general public.
- Non-profit and advocacy organizations: Many non-profit and advocacy organizations require research and policy expertise, making them a potential career option for PhDs.
- Entrepreneurship: Some PhDs choose to start their own businesses, either as consultants or by creating their own products or services.
- Education: PhDs can work as educators in non-academic settings, such as in museums, science centers, or educational software companies. They can also opt for the lower education levels such as High School or primary school, where they could work as teachers.
Overall, the key to finding a career outside academia as a PhD student is to explore your interests, skills, and experiences and to be open to different career paths. Networking, gaining relevant skills and experience, and seeking out mentorship and career guidance can also be helpful in making the transition to a non-academic career.
Since university-trained researchers are increasingly sought after in the labour market outside academia, Arqus also puts an emphasis on offers regarding entrepreneurial skills, strategies for redesigning a research career for the non-university labour market, and networking with companies.
The Arqus Week for Careers Outside Academia
Arqus organises every year a Week for Careers Outside Academia, to stimulate entrepreneurship and creativity amongst the university community and across different areas of activities, through mutual learning, by engaging regional resources and building on the complementary strengths of all its members.
These are our past Weeks for Careers Outside Academia
The Granada PhD Week gives doctoral candidates and early-stage researchers a boost to take off in the non-academic professional field. (May 2023).
A look back at the Arqus PhD Week for Careers Outside Academia in Lyon! (May 2022)
The Arqus PhD Week for careers outside academia: Starting up new careers. (October 2021)
Stay tuned to get to know when we will organise the next one. Subscribe to our Newsletter!