Happy Versatile PhD

The 5 Essential Attributes of a Truly Versatile PhD.

 “Versatile PhD.” You’ve seen or heard the words before either online or at a professional workshop at your university’s career center. Time and time again, you’ve probably read or heard that versatile PhD’s are people who excel at convincing employers that their training is valuable by showing off the many transferable skills they possess. But is being a versatile PhD all about skills?Through our interactions with PhD’s who have successfully transitioned out of academia, we discovered that true flexibility is more than just an aptitude. It is also a matter of attitude.Here are five adjectives that best describe a truly versatile...

Tightening of the PhD Job Market

What keeps PhD students from pursuing non-academic careers?

Across all disciplines, the career prospects for recent graduates on the PhD job market continue to darken. According to the most recent NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates, the percentage of new PhD’s with job commitments (including postdocs) after they earn their doctorates is falling. In 2014, the number of doctorate degrees awarded by U.S. institutions reached an all-time high of 54,070. Unfortunately, the survey also notes that the number of PhD’s who found academic employment or a postdoc at the time of graduation dropped from 69.5% to 61.4% between 2009 and 2014, with positions in the humanities dropping to an all-time...

non-academic job interviews

Non-Academic Job Interviews: Talking About Your Weaknesses

Talking about your weaknesses is one of the most common topics in non-academic job interviews. Employers want to hire people who possess a healthy EQ, and a good way for them to evaluate someone’s emotional intelligence is to assess his/her self-awareness. The best way to tackle the question is to approach it as a problem that needs to be solved. In other words, you should point out your weaknesses to demonstrate your ability to turn a negative into a positive. How do you do that? By showing the interviewer your ability to reveal “areas for growth and development” in your skill...

life after the phd

Life After The PhD: Positioning Yourself as a Career Changer

  Life after the PhD is not easy. If you are pursuing a non-academic career after obtaining your PhD, you are a career changer and therefore carry a burden that is spared job seekers who pursue careers in their field of study: you need to convince people, in an authentic manner, that you have a sense of direction. In other words, you need to demonstrate, in a practical way, that you understand the new industry in which you are pursuing a career. It is one thing to be fascinated by a career and to believe that you can make valuable contributions...

Transferable skill Ph.D.'s

One Transferable Skill Ph.D.’s Should Know: Teamwork

According to the Job Outlook 2016 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), teamwork is the second most important factor organizations look for on a candidate’s resume after leadership. Therefore, if you do not know how to work in a group setting, your future career is in serious jeopardy. Teamwork should be one transferable skill Ph.D.'s  should seek to acquire. It should also be part of the strategy you use to present yourself to potential employers. It is essential that your teamwork skills are highlighted throughout the entire non-academic job search process. How do you do that? Show it...

Optimizing your online presence

PhD Employment Opportunities: Optimizing Your Online Presence in 5 Steps

  As you explore post-PhD employment opportunities, it is important to assess your online presence before hiring committees do. A great résumé, a flawless cover letter, and compelling references that truly highlight your skills and talents are not sufficient. Before you submit your material and contact employers of interest, there is one very important thing you need to do before pressing SEND: You absolutely need to optimize your online presence. Here are five easy steps you can take to shine in the virtual world: STEP 1: Google yourself. The hiring committee sure will. If you want to see what they might think of you...

Finding the right Phd industry job

Phd Industry Jobs: How to Win the Heart of Your Next Employer

  Looking for Phd industry jobs is like looking for your soul mate. Finding the right match takes time and energy, the internet is a good way to look for opportunities, and, at the end of the day, it’s all about chemistry.But what happens when you think you have found “the one”? How do you make sure to signal your interest without being pushy? How do you optimize your chances of making a long-lasting connection?Here are few tips on how to approach Phd industry jobs and melt the heart of your next employer:Show them you are ready for a relationship....

Phd Career Exploration: Are Online Self-Assessment Tools Worth Your Time?

 For many PhDs, taking the altac route means finding a space where one can remain involved in scholarly or academic work beyond the confines of a tenure-track position. But for other PhDs, going “altac” often means changing careers. In many ways, considering the pursuit of non-academic job opportunities as a career switcher is a great way to, not only look at the past without the feeling of failure, but also to look at your present. Why? Simply put, because career switching has basically become the new normal. And this is good news: you are not alone. On the contrary, you are among...

Phd employment

Phd Employment: Should You Invest Money In Your Career?

 Let’s admit it. Academics do not like to talk about money. Why? The reasons may vary depending on whom you ask. But one thing is for sure: in this day and age, when one looks at Phd employment opportunities on university campuses, academics might avoid talking about money because the ROI on their Ph.D. is low. What is ROI? Simply put, ROI (return on investment) is a performance measure used to assess the efficiency of an investment. Earning a Ph.D. requires students to invest an incredible amount of time and energy. Considering that a fifth of Ph.D. students finish their doctoral...

Phd Non-Academic Career Prep 101: Mapping Out Your Plan B (Part 4)

We often hear from Phds on the non-academic job hunt that they wished they had done things differently in graduate school. In this fourth and final installment of a 4-part blog series, we provide you with advice on how to prepare to be competitive on the non-academic job market by bolstering your EQ.  YEARS 4–5: Time for a makeover. There are no job opportunities? You lost your illusions about academia? Or you’re fed up and feel ready for the non-academic job hunt? Time to cut your losses and reconnect with who you are.Here’s how you can do that: Look in the mirror....

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