Leaving academia meant reinventing my career.
The idea was daunting.After some sleepless nights staring into the internet abyss, I finally stumbled upon some encouraging hits. I finally stumbled upon some encouraging resources.
According to a report by The Royal Society, your chance of a becoming a professor is 0.45%. That means fewer than one in 200 PhD graduates become professors.
Meanwhile, most PhD graduates will spend up to 10 years in temporary postdoc positions feeling insecure about their future job prospects.
Utilizing online resources is a fast and easy way to cement these plans while having the support of like-minded people.
Here are the top reference websites for PhDs interested in transitioning:
1. Naturejobs and AAAS
Both of these resources from STEM publishing houses are excellent for scientists looking to develop their careers.
Naturejobs is a mixture of expert advice and personal stories from academics and industry professionals across all topics, from career choices to networking tips. Recently, they launched the Naturejobs Careers Community, which is an online forum equipped with professional career advisors who share their knowledge through articles, videos, and discussions.
Similarly, AAAS has a wealth of career tools for scientists at all stages of their careers in addition to blog posts. Their most famous supplement for PhDs in transition is the individual development plan, which is a series of exercises to find career paths that best fit your skills and expertise.ow to develop them and how to market what you already have.
Started by a frustrated graduate student looking for career options (sound familiar?), this site brings together information about alternative careers for PhDs. It also has an online community of graduate students—past, present, and future—to discuss their experiences regarding their industry transitions.
This cross-disciplinary resource helps graduate students prepare for non-academic careers through the PhD Career Finder. Graduate students can access resources from past doctoral students who are now industry professionals.
They can also access their successful resumes and cover letters with detailed analyses that describe how they made their transitions—starting from the application all the way through to the hiring process. The caveat here is that you must be part of one of the subscribed institutions.
This website began after a seminar series of the same name coordinated at the University of Leicester in the UK. It allows you to go through the archive of past seminars and find the corresponding speakers and slide decks. This is a great resource to get some ideas for alternative careers in addition to companies that may be of interest to you.
This site combines the talents of Amara Chukwu and Emmanuel Adukwu, two doctorate holders with 20 years of combined professional experience in academia, healthcare, and nonprofit. Their mission is to provide a forum for students and early career professionals to share their experiences with like-minded individuals. Their blogs include career advice, education, entrepreneurship, and transferable skills, along with a special PhD and Grad Forum.
A project set up by The Modern Language Association, this site and its initiatives prepare doctoral students in the humanities for careers outside of academia. These blogs, however, are applicable to all subject areas, with a focus on how graduates can better market themselves for alternative careers.
This general science indexing site for “what’s sizzling in science” also has an excellent career center. Check out the “So You Want to Be a…” themed blogs for information about alternative careers.
You can set up multiple “feeds” to aggregate papers on a specific topic—so you can pretend you’re getting alerts on the latest microbiology phenomenon when really you’re learning about life as a Medical Science Liaison.
Cheeky Scientist has a variety of insights aimed at helping PhDs do one thing and one thing only: transition intg to break free from the shackles of academia. The key is to know which online resources will provide the best and most useful information. The more information you have about alternative careers and the transition process, the more equipped you will be to tackle this change head on.
You’re not the only one who’s looking to break free from the shackles of academia. The key is to know which online resources will provide the best and most useful information. The more information you have about alternative careers and the transition process, the more equipped you will be to tackle this change head on.
This article was originally published on Cheeky Scientist. It has been republished here with permission.
TopicsCareer Paths , Exploring Career Paths , Career Changes , Education , Grad School , Leaving Academia
Photo of PhD student courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.