Popst-PhD, non-academia jobs


Can anyone suggest areas where a PhD can be a help in getting a job/climbing the ladder faster, which aren't academia, and which aren't subject specific?

Avatar for sneaks

Well last year I would have said 'civil servant' but the recruitment freeze has put a little stopper on that. Although I've heard from my hubs who's a civil servant, that they will be running the fast stream this year and they'll probably start hiring (but only very very small amounts of people) after the spending review - once they know where they have any budget to hire.

Any graduate scheme - yes it means going back to beginnning in a sense, but with the PhD you'd hope that you'd be promoted quicker than the other graduates you'll be going in with.


I'd suggest teaching in a private school, where qualifications like PhD are really highly regarded, and - based on my experiences so far - they don't seem as fussy as I'd expect about teaching skills!

Obviously you'd have to teach the public you're qualified in, but it's an opportunity for people from all subjects. And you'd need to train as a teacher.


My sister is a specialist recruitment consultant who deals with phders who don't want academic positions. Recently she's placed phd holders into the following areas/companies:

Investment banking (City)
Law (City)
Eli Lilly
Other Pharmaceutical Co.s
Independent Healthcare Companies
Outreach medical services
Management Consultancy

There's a lot of choice you just need to identify an area of interest that fits in with your expertise. Also the starting salaries for all the jobs that she filled were twice would you get as a post doc or newbie academic.

The good thing about phds is that they are highly regarded in many non academic endeavours.


======= Date Modified 19 Sep 2010 22:57:32 =======
Oh and I forgot to say that some of these were not subject specific for example the google job did not ask for computer science/programming and the pharmaceutical companies did not want pharmacy based phds...


A lot depends on the subject area - many companies would be looking for relevant skills. So pharma companies will be looking for biomed type degrees rather than history or social sciences.


That is true to some extent but most large corporate entities are made up of many divisions so for example GSK and Eli Lilly need accountants, other research staff (healthcare, social sciences), HR staff etc etc they don't always only recruit biomedical scientists, chemists and pharmacists. Clearly if your phd is in history then GSK is not for you. However recruitment consultants are unlikely to suggest jobs that are not going to make use of any of your skills.

I'm just saying that there are lots of alternative careers out there and sometimes it pays off to think outside the box. Doing a phd doesn't need to pigeonhole you into academia because there are a lot of other places that value the skills acquired from a phd just as much as they are valued in academia.


Hello Milly_Cat, I recently completed my Ph.D. (Electronics/Telecommunications) and I am looking to find a job in the London area, it could by great if you could get in touch with your sister. Feel free to PM me.



I agree with Milly_Cat - you have to think outside the box, especially in this economy and job market. If you haven't already started a PhD program, you might want to find a company where you want to make a career and then start the program. Some companies will even pay for your schooling. If you already have a PhD, congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment. Hopefully it will give you a leg up on others. But in some cases employers may be reluctant to hire you for fear that you will be bored if the job doesn't live up to your level of education. I have a Master's degree and I have chosen to make my career at http://jobs.parexel.com/ and have loved my time here. And as Milly_Cat pointed out, they hire for a variety of departments. Best of luck in your job search.