Anyone here doing a PhD who is not going into academia?

04-May-16, 13:16
edited about 10 seconds later
by AOE26
Avatar for AOE26
posted about 4 years ago
Interested in 'chatting' to anyone doing or has done a PhD who is not planning on going into academia afterwards. i.e. pure career reasons.
04-May-16, 14:16
edited about 16 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 4 years ago
As much as I would like to stay in academia, I think practically its just not going to work me. I don't want the insecurity of a short term contract, and the immense pressure to publish.

So although I probably will apply for research posts post-PhD, realistically I will probably end up doing something else. Some how I feel I will probably stay in academia, but not in a research/lectureship posts, maybe in admin.

What do you plan to do?
05-May-16, 08:39
edited about 1 minute later
by satchi
Avatar for satchi
posted about 4 years ago
it's not that I'm not going into academia -- I simply can't get into academia!

I don't have enough published papers, I always don't seem to have the "direct" experience that employers want etc, feels like I'm just not good enough.
06-May-16, 10:57
by AOE26
Avatar for AOE26
posted about 4 years ago
Thanks for the replies.. I am very much interested the impact attaining a PhD had on your (non academia) career and how you leveraged the benefits i.e. by gaining status through publishing or using the research as a basis for your work.
06-May-16, 13:39
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 4 years ago
@AOE26 I did go into academia but most of my cohort didn't (either didn't want to or the academic jobs market didn't work out for them), we got on well and largely stay in touch. As far as I can tell, the most successful ones got their first job by using the PhD as proof of their research skills (nearly all in policy-related jobs) but then progressed on their own merits not directly because of the PhD. I don't think any have published academically since leaving academia but the value of academic publications in most non-academic jobs is probably not worth the effort. I think for social scientists like these, the selling point of the PhD to the outside world is either the research methods skills you have, that are valued by e.g. market research, places using big datasets etc, or for a few the empirical knowledge gained through fieldwork e.g. knowledge of a particular group or country.
For Hugh - a couple did go into university admin roles, and after difficult starts are doing well now, but from what they say you have to be very careful to come across as genuinely enthused by the career possibilities, as otherwise you can get tagged as 'failed academic desperate to stay in a university' and then promotion opportunities are less good.
06-May-16, 23:15
edited about 38 seconds later
by Pjlu
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 4 years ago
I'm a teacher, currently a Deputy Principal of an Independent Secondary College. When I first dreamed of a Phd it was to be an academic and it would have been in a different discipline. Thus I dreamed of completing a PhD in the Arts looking at comparative literature with a psychological focus-I even had a topic in mind. However, family life and responsibilities needed to be met and it has turned out that I completed a Masters with a major research component and am now finishing off my PhD in Education.

Again, when I completed the Masters after some years in teaching and began the PhD, I did think of academia, this time looking at teacher education or similar but have realised that both the goal posts have changed and my own experiences, expertise (and age now) mean that academia is a very unlikely end point for me.

I realised this very early on (right at the start of the PhD-which I am completing part -time). Then I went through a soul searching period wondering "why do it?" However, what I have realised is that I love the understanding, the change in my thinking and the new abilities I have to really critically engage with education and my own and others work and research.

I do plan to use this to write and publish as a professional and also think it will help my career a bit (but not as much as you might expect). Right at the moment my main goal is to finish-and I'm hoping this will be Jan 2017 submission date (just over 5 years and two months since starting). Once I have submitted, I will immerse myself in my professional responsibilities, need to complete a specific PG Cert for my system (Theology-I'm in the Catholic system) but do hope to publish some professional articles from my thesis and use this expertise to further my work in teaching.


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