What other skills do I have (in case something happen to the PhD)


I was wondering, if something were to happen along the way, what kind of skills (out of the PhD) do I have in order to get a normal job other than research skills : /
I've read a lot of things about the PhD journey and I would rather get ready for the worst.

I've been out from my own industrial sector for 2 years now (IT) and have no idea if any employees would be interested with me : /


Something like this...

PhD student: “I am a nuclear physicist.”
Employer: “Oh. We’ll call you.” (Won’t call you...)

PhD student: “I can read schematics and troubleshoot electronics. I can make machine drawings using CAD programs and perform statistical analysis on large quantities of data. I’m not afraid to disassemble instruments to fix them or to think hard. I did all these things as part of my graduate training in physics.”
Employer: “You’re hired! By the way, why did a smart young person like you study an obscure topic like physics?”


Ha ha, that's good MeaninginLife, made me chuckle. I'm careers guidance qualified but my expertise is careers guidance for young people. It's difficult to say not knowing the ins and outs of what you are doing. Your Uni should have a careers guidance service who you can make an appointment with. They will go through in detail what you are doing in your PhD and track transferable employable skills and peresonal qualities. There will be many. This will need to then be tailored to whatever jobs you are applying for. Have one generic CV that you can adapt (from your list of employable skills) this CV will be very different to your 'academic' CV, which you will also need to make. :-) If you are very worried about not having recent job experience is there room in your PhD packed life for a few hours paid/unpaid/vounteering work here and there just to keep your hand in, even around your uni or assisting in your department?


lol. that's s good one meaningoflife, and that's actually a good idea! I've completely forgotten the "how to present or "sell" yourself for job appointments! ah... living in the academic bubble.

thank you wowzer. yes, looking back, I did have some working experience; I did some system development (research level)and am still a research assistant. I think that wouldn't leave any gap in the CV.


Quote From tt_dan:
I was wondering, if something were to happen along the way, what kind of skills (out of the PhD) do I have in order to get a normal job other than research skills : /

To be honest, no-one here can tell you that. You need to figure it out for yourself. There are some generic skills one MAY acquire in a PhD but only you know if you have them. Ask your careers service whether they can help you do a skills inventory, or have a look on the Vitae website.

Look at adverts for non-academic jobs that you would consider applying for if you don't stay in academia. Do you have the right skill-set? If not, that might give you some insight into whether there are other skills you should consider developing. Especially if they are things that might help you as a researcher anyway.


It is a waste to quit if there is paper published and conference papers accepted in second year.
Perhaps it is better to have no backup plan.
Conflict with supervisor is not uncommon.