We Turn PhDs Into Confident and Successful Industry Professionals
The Cheeky Scientist Association is the world’s largest job search training platform specifically for helping PhDs get hired into industry careers. It’s also the world’s best PhD-only job referral network. Learn more about joining below.
Top Industry Career eBooks
Isaiah Hankel, PhD & Arunodoy Sur, PhD
Learn about the top 20 industry careers for PhDs (regardless of your academic background). In this eBook, you will gain insight into the most popular, highest-paying jobs for PhDs – all of which will allow you to do meaningful work AND get paid well for it.
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Learn how to craft the perfect industry resume to attract employers. In this eBook for PhDs, you will get access to proven resume templates, learn how to structure your bullet points, and discover which keywords industry employers want to see most on PhD resumes.
Career Training Programs
March 8, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET
Government Careers Union
Technical Training Programs
By: Arunodoy Sur, PhD
When choosing the next step in your career, be sure to consider not only the title and salary you want to have, but the lifestyle you want to live. PhDs should gain a thorough understanding of their non-academic career options. Otherwise, they will be forced by circumstances to take positions that are not in alignment with their long-term career goals. To help you avoid this fate, we’ve collated a list of the 10 hottest non-academic jobs today. Understanding which industry positions are on the rise will help you see what’s available to you outside of a traditional postdoc or professorship. This will help you get off and stay off the dead end career track you're currently on. Here are 10 of the hottest industry jobs for science PhDs.
By: Aditya Sharma, PhD
As a PhD who has spent many years in academia, it is possible to lose sight of your value. But, when you are transitioning from academia to industry, you must reconnect with your value in order to get the pay you deserve. The only way your future employer is going to see your value is if you communicate it to them. Once you know what your skills are worth, negotiate to get the salary to match. Sending the right type of email will help you secure a higher starting salary. Negotiation emails should be polite but direct. Here are 5 email templates, addressing various stages in the negotiation process, to help you reach your salary negotiation goal.
By: Karin Weigelt, Ph.D.
Getting hired into a successful industry team means recognizing the importance of the systems that operate within the industry company you will be working for. You must develop your business acumen so that you have a strong understanding of teamwork and a keen awareness of how each industry department works together to bring products to market. Being able to highlight your business acumen during networking events, informational interviews, and site visits is crucial to getting hired. Here are 5 more key industry departments PhD job candidates must understand.
By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Whether or not you understand how negotiating works, it is being used against you. This is especially true when you’re applying for an industry job, interviewing, or vying for a promotion. The problem is that most people, especially PhDs, don’t know how to negotiate salary. These people don’t understand how negotiation works or why it’s important so they refuse to do it. The problem is that refusing to negotiate can severely limit your career success. Being willing to negotiate, on the other hand, can push your career forward. This is, in part, because your starting salary and career trajectory are tightly linked. Here are 12 tips to help you negotiate a higher salary contract.
By: Dora Farkas, PhD
I thought about quitting graduate school in the beginning of my 6th year. I was almost certain that there was no way that I could graduate that year, or ever for that matter. I started several dead-end projects, and most of my data was inconsistent and did not support any of my hypotheses. I felt stuck and trapped in my own life. The irony was that I actually created this life for myself because I thought that getting a PhD degree was the road to a better life and a career that I would be passionate about. I finally summoned…
By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Having a PhD is a significant advantage. PhDs get paid higher than non-PhDs and are in high demand. Trained professionals who know how to create information, not just repackage it, are desperately needed. Entrepreneurship and innovation are at an all time high. These trends will continue as the economy continues to favor innovation. If you have a PhD or are on your way to having one and you’re reading this, the future is yours. The only thing that can hold you back is yourself—by choosing to be one dimensional and choosing to ignore the less objective soft skills that will complement your PhD and make you a magnet for industry success. A PhD offers you great advantages over other job candidates and over the population in general.
By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Most PhDs are taught that more is always better. Triplicates are better than duplicates. An N of 200 is better than an N of 2. A CV with 10 first author publications is better than a CV with one first author publication. On and on. But, when it comes to creating a strong industry résumé for a PhD job, less is more. Adding the wrong things or too many things to your résumé will keep you from getting the industry job you want. A better strategy is to simplify your industry résumé down to only the things that industry hiring managers and recruiters actually want to see. Here are 7 things smart PhDs like you should remove from your industry résumé.
By: Gemma Paech, Ph.D.
In the middle of your industry interview, you may be asked to disclose your current salary. Not only is it an uncomfortable question, it’s an inappropriate one — and if you answer, you may reduce your value and your salary offer before you even get a chance to negotiate for what you deserve. The bottom line is, you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, disclose your current salary. Doing so will only work against you. Managing the question should revolve around focusing on the value you can provide the company. This will increase your odds of a fair salary negotiation for your industry job. Here are three strategies to use to avoid discussing your current salary during your industry interview.
By: Arunodoy Sur, PhD
International PhDs do not have an easy ride to full-time employment if they want to stay in the U.S. You are competing with a growing number of foreign students for the same capped visas or hoping for a visa lottery win. To work in the U.S., you need to know your facts and be prepared so that when you leverage the value you bring to the company, the immigration piece seems less significant. In addition to networking and strategizing, give yourself ample time to learn about the visa options available to you and start the process before you graduate. Here are 5 visa options you need to know about.
By: Klodjan Staffa, PhD
Working as an industry research scientist is much different (and better) than working as an academic research scientist. As an industry research scientist, you will get to do meaningful benchwork and be paid well. Yes, you can have both. Not only can you be paid well and do meaningful work, you can also work with a supportive team in a supportive environment. There are many advantages to working as an industry research scientist over an academic research scientist. The money is nice, but there are many other benefits. Here are the 3 biggest advantages of working as an industry research scientist versus an academic research scientist:
By: Klodjan Staffa, PhD
If you think a postdoc is necessary for getting an industry job, think again. As a PhD, most industry jobs require “less training” than you have and no postdoc experience. Even if the job posting says postdoc experience required, it is often is not required. Many new PhD graduates and master’s degree graduates are hired into these “postdoc required” roles. A postdoc is not required for an industry job. It won’t help you get an industry job or higher-tier job in industry. So, quit lying to yourself. Stop obsessing over titles and publications. Instead, start marketing yourself for your new non-academic career. Here’s how…
By: Gemma Paech, Ph.D.
No one said your PhD would be easy. But no one said it could pose such a significant risk to your emotional and mental health, either. With growing rates of depression globally, PhDs are not immune to the impacts of academic stress. If academic stress has started a downward spiral into depression, you need to be able to recognize the symptoms early and ask for help. The right treatment plan can build the resilience you need for your successful PhD completion and industry transition.
Associate Medical Director
Cheeky Scientist was instrumental for me. I got a lot of guidelines for how to get started, and the biggest decision for me was to make it my priority. Having a very specific set of goals made it easier to focus and put my entire energy into it.
Senior Research Scientist
Sterling Pharma Solutions
I wanted to change my current job and I had been trying for at least the last six to seven months. I had applied, applied, applied, gone through all the people I know, contacted them, forwarded my resume. I had done every possible thing, applied for 90 or 100 jobs and had not heard back from a single position. I really learned a lot from Cheeky Scientist--how to prevent yourself in an interview situation, what to answer and what not to answer. The most helpful part for me was the salary negotiation guidance, which was phenomenal.
Medical Device Analyst
I think my biggest "aha moment" [after joining the Association] was that companies are looking for what the PhD means, and not the PhD itself. They're looking for people that can solve problems, who can manage projects, manage time, manage people, something that we're used to as PhD students every day.
Advanced Application Engineer (Bioinformatics)
First of all, the resume template that we get from Cheeky Scientist is absolutely amazing. The moment I did that change, I started getting results. I started getting calls from interviewers. Every third or fourth day, I had an interview.
Ludwig-Maximilians Üniversität München
[Joining the Cheeky Scientist Association] helped me a lot to meet people. It was really good to meet people, to speak about our challenges. We had a meetup in Munich recently, five of us who had all already transitioned, so it was really interesting. I think it helps to get other points of views, to get the perspectives of others.
Clinical Trial Coordinator
Before coming to this field I didn't really know what an MSL was. The MSLA program was excellent because it's not just like any other program on the internet. It's a group of like-minded, positive-minded people, MSLs in big companies. The MSLA group is so supportive. If you have a question, just type it in and a hundred MSLA members will jump in.
Medical Writer - Informed Consent Specialist
I want to thank the CSA team since I never would have made it to this point without you! I have been a member since Jan 2018 and began seriously applying to positions in June, so it took me about 3 months and 3 interviews before finding the right fit.
Director of Admissions and Recruitment
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
I joined Cheeky Scientist a few months before I actually left my position, and a lot of things that did come out from Cheeky did help me bear the impact of leaving a very good job, and help tie me over to what I'm doing now. You just have to learn to trust yourself that this isn't the right place to be, so get out as soon as you can.
CSA helped me realize all the transferable skills I had, like writing, mentoring, leadership, and administration. Until it was presented to me in the Association, I didn't realize what skillsets I had that maybe other people didn't have. That was huge.
Melting Technology Engineer
As many of you PhDs have experienced, there's really not much guidance as to how to structure your resume for industry. That was one challenge for sure, because after uploading my resume in its previous form I usually didn't get any kind of response. Knowing how to tailor a resume to a specific position was a big challenge, but...after taking care of that it becomes a lot easier.
Medical Science Liaison at
Here I am with an offer for an MSL position. Words can not describe the rewarding feeling you have when you finally land the job that you have always wanted. This has been quite a journey, with many challenges and rejections, but being persistent and focusing on my goal has led me here. Special thanks to my MSLA comrades [in CSA].
Meso Scale Diagnostics
I've gone to so many great meetups where I've gotten great pieces of advice that I've been able to implement, they've introduced me to people who have been crucial in keeping me motivated and focused during my job search. It's really encouraging, when it's a difficult time in your career and you're not sure how to move forward, to have all these people cheering you on.
Medical Writer, Clinical Affairs
I learned, in networking, not to expect anything back right away, but to focus on adding value. I also learned how to initiate informational interviews with other Cheeky Scientist members and also outside of the group. I'm still learning from the group.
Fermentation Scientist II
As a postdoc and a person who has a family I can't just be careless with the money I spend, so I had to put a lot of thought into [joining the Association]. I was on the edge, but I thought "go for it". All I can say now is, it was worth it. The Cheeky Scientist Association private group is, I would say, invaluable. The modules are amazing, they're always growing.
Cheeky Scientist PhD Career Finder
After completing a few questions you will receive a personalized detailed review of 3 careers that we recommend for you. These are not the only careers available for you and there may be others that are more ideal for you. However, these 3 careers will provide an additional level of clarity for you as you continue your job search, and one or all of these careers may serve as an ideal target for you in your job search