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Old 03.03.2015, 18:36
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Alternative careers for PhD graduates

Anyone here with a success (or not so successful) story to tell on taking a nontraditional/alternative career path after PhD?

Thanks.
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Old 03.03.2015, 19:38
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

What do you mean by non-traditional and/or alternative? And what subject is the PhD?
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Old 03.03.2015, 19:39
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

Teach. But that's pretty traditional. And can be done in a reversed order or simultaneously. But it is not for everyone, tbh.
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Old 03.03.2015, 19:58
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

I knew a girl PHD who developed an alternative career; not sure if she is still performing
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Old 03.03.2015, 19:58
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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What do you mean by non-traditional and/or alternative? And what subject is the PhD?
nonacademic, for example, a scientist working in a bank or working as a patent agent
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Old 03.03.2015, 20:23
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

How do you expect any employer to be able to make a case for hiring you, a non-EU national, outside of your field of expertise? According to your other posts your B permit is tied to your job so when that goes, you're back to square on on the non-EU hiring front.
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Old 03.03.2015, 20:50
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

just try. anything that worked for others does not indicate that will work for you as well, and anything that did not work out for others might work for you. if you are EU citizen and speak local languages will definitely be a big plus
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Old 03.03.2015, 21:08
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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nonacademic, for example, a scientist working in a bank or working as a patent agent
I know plenty of people with PhD in areas of life science working in banks or as patent lawyers. Its not even that nontraditional. A patent agent would need to know a thing or two about research.
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Old 03.03.2015, 22:00
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

I've heard of some friends who joined consulting firms (Mckinsey, BCG) after their PhDs.
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Old 04.03.2015, 06:02
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

Back in college I was a part time bar keeper to make some cash. We had a fun crew in a club and everyone had a nickname. One was "the doc". When I asked him how he got it, he told me it was because of his doctorate in philosophy...

(In other words: If you want a meaningful discussion do you need to add the info what you actually studied... it's a shame that I need to tell this to a researcher.)
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Old 04.03.2015, 06:52
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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I knew a girl PHD who developed an alternative career; not sure if she is still performing
She the one with the doctorate in ping pong balls and candles?
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Old 04.03.2015, 07:18
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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She the one with the doctorate in ping pong balls and candles?
It's called "gender studies"...
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Old 04.03.2015, 10:12
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

I work in marketing, mostly because it was the only job I could find after over a year. The salary is significantly less than I made with my masters and we're also getting big pay cut because of the CHF-EU exchange rate.

In conclusion, doctoral studies were not a good idea, and perhaps they even made me dumber.
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Old 04.03.2015, 12:50
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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nonacademic, for example, a scientist working in a bank or working as a patent agent
Short answer: yes.

Long answer: it depends on if you want credit for your PhD degree. E.g., I doubt there is a wage premium for waiters holding PhDs of any type, but a PhD in maths is valuable in a number of industries.

Any reasonable answer would require your field of study, as previously mentioned twice.
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Old 04.03.2015, 13:50
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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Short answer: yes.

Long answer: it depends on if you want credit for your PhD degree. E.g., I doubt there is a wage premium for waiters holding PhDs of any type, but a PhD in maths is valuable in a number of industries.

Any reasonable answer would require your field of study, as previously mentioned twice.
A PhD in Chemistry.
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Old 04.03.2015, 15:09
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

And what kind of chemistry?
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Old 04.03.2015, 15:40
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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Old 04.03.2015, 15:42
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

many financial services (banks, insurance cos, reinsurance) and manufacturing companies hire PHDS, and not just for research jobs.

What do you want to do?
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Old 04.03.2015, 17:20
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

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A PhD in Chemistry.
If you say what sort of research you did for your PhD, perhaps you may get some decent ideas. A good friend of mine did her PhD in Geophysics years ago, and is now working in the reinsurance industry. Her experience in modelling (not that kind of modelling, but the mathematical one ) made her a very good candidate for this reinsurance company! So depending on the type of research or work you've done, it is possible to move to a different sector/ industry.

Good luck!
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Old 04.03.2015, 17:54
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Re: Alternative careers for PhD graduates

Advanced degrees in humanities aren't bad at all, especially in languages

It's not that it has to be mentioned, anyways, in one's CV if you risk being over-qualified.

I know one PhD in chemistry who teaches, one in pharma admin and one in environmental business.
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