Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Discussing PhD careers outside of academia

I'll be back to work on Monday, my rib is healing fine and I must go back to my project and do the best I can to recuperate the time I spent at home. I have a job to be done. But not all of us have jobs to be done, unfortunately. And some others have jobs with which they are not happy at all. I cannot offer jobs as I am just a simple PhD student, but I intend to offer you something today. Insight? Probably. Opinion? Most definitely. Trend? For sure.

I have been very carefully paying attention and trying not to participate in the forums of a LinkedIn group named PhD Careers Outside of Academia. I tried hard not to give my opinion so I could post an unbiased review with the trendy opinions of all of those who've been participating and discussing the important questions there posted, in the wild jungle of our society, where jobs are rare, insecure, crucial, and finding one raises awareness. 

Please, leave a comment if you think you'd like to help on discussing these issues. The general trend here has been chosen by me  and represents what I realised is the most voted opinion among the participants. You'll agree with some, disagree with some others, but overall this is a post to help you make your decision and that is left entirely up to you. Follow reason or your heart, be sure that the last option is all yours:

Is it necessary to do a post-doc in order to obtain a scientist position in industry?
No 2
Yes 3
Unsure  (Same as saying "it depends") 6
The best opinion (according to voters)

Do graduate schools need to improve their career counseling?

No 1
Yes 2
Unsure  (Same as saying "it depends") 2
The best opinion (according to voters)

Following up after applying... helpful to you or just annoying to HR
Helpful 3
Useless 5
Unsure  (Same as saying "it depends") 4
The best opinion (according to voters)

My personal choice

What is the best length for a resume/cv?
Maximum of 2 Pages 2 
Unsure  (Same as saying "it depends") 7
The best opinion (according to voters)

There are a million questions I could have posted here, but the principle behind this post is just to make you feel more human and less lost, if such dichotomy is possible. No one can assume there is a correct answer for such topics just because they depend on the people assessing you, the geographical area you're in, the science your devoted to, etc etc etc. Most of the times we follow the opinions of those who are related to us, of those we can trust and of those we know want the best for ourselves, however, knowing that our doubts are also the doubts of many other persons lift that weight called "guilt" from our shoulders, makes us feel more human and understand that as ourselves, there are others who struggle with the same questions, challenges and debates. See you soon.


  1. Several of the advantages of getting doctoral degrees online are not so different from the advantages you can get from getting conventional on-campus doctoral degrees. Doctorate degrees enable learners to receive the highest level of education through a long period of research, study as well as scholarly services. Doctoral degree holders , in turn, get the reputation for being scholastic experts in the area of study they choose.

  2. Yes, I do agree. But don't you think that we are dehumanizing universities and becoming a little too fast-food type degrees?