Industry Careers

Insights from some of our top Associates on the best industry careers for PhDs that you can use to determine which role(s) are right for you

10 Business Terms Many PhDs Don't Know But Need To Know To Get Hired

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

For many PhDs, science and business seem to be opposites. Throughout grad school, we get fed the idea that good research is done in academia and that industry companies are villains that only care about the money and those that look for an industry career are sellouts. This is not only a lie, it is a dangerous concept. All research, even academic research, is done in a market setting and has to achieve results and be profitable. The reason why many academic labs struggle is because they are badly managed businesses. Unfortunately, many PhDs buy into these myths and either…

14 In Demand Industry Careers For Interdisciplinary PhDs

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Interdisciplinary PhDs – those who have research backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts – are less likely to seek career opportunities outside of academia than their basic sciences and engineering counterparts. The academic landscape in interdisciplinary departments is just as bad, if not worse, than that in STEM departments, yet these PhDs feel that they can’t leave. That there is no demand for them in industry, This is simply not true, interdisciplinary PhDs are highly valuable in a variety of industry positions, but because they don’t know what tier options are and lack an industry network, they…

What Is A Business Development Manager Position And How PhDs Can Get Hired Into It

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

PhDs think that they are not cut out for business, that academia didn’t teach them any business acumen, and that they can only access business-related positions once they have gained industry experience. This misconception comes from the academic idea that our most valuable assets are our technical or speciality skills. In reality, our tranferable skills are our biggest assets, and if you think about it in industry terms, you will notice that as PhDs, we have a lot of business skills. So, you shouldn’t limit yourself to positions that value your technical skills when planning your transition. PhDs can get…

Why PhDs Are Dominating User Experience Researcher Positions In Industry

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Most PhDs start to plan their transition journey with a narrow view of their possibilities. Many of them think they can only transition into research scientist jobs, or that they can only find a fulfilling career if they go into the pharma or biotech industries. This narrow view ends up being especially limiting for PhDs with interdisciplinary backgrounds who think that only STEM PhDs can be successful in industry. As a consequence, they end up missing out on exciting opportunities or end up stuck in academia because they are afraid to go after an industry career. You can have a…

The 3 Components Of A Professional Job Search Profile

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

The components of your professional job search profile are important. If you want to transition into industry, you need to talk the language of industry and show that to potential referrals and employers. You probably already heard me say this, but do you know what it actually means? It means you need to know how you are portraying yourself from the very first moment you start planning your transition. Even before you start applying for jobs. If you are looking to transition into industry, but are applying to positions using an academic CV instead of an industry resume, you are…

How Any PhD Can Get Hired In Industry (6 Steps)

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Do you have a job search strategy to be hired in industry? An actual job search strategy that guides the actions you will take to get hired in industry? Or do you tend to start the week without a structured plan when it comes to your transition? You wake up on Tuesday and submit a few resumes, do nothing Wednesday and Thursday, reach out to a few contacts on Friday, coast on the weekend, and search for online job postings on Monday. And expect to be hired in industry. Does this sequence sound absurd? Are you thinking that nobody searches for…

How To Shorten The Hiring Funnel And Get Hired Faster

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Finding a PhD-level industry job through the hiring funnel is hard.  After all, you are aiming for one of the 0.5% top available positions. Employers don’t just hand those positions out. At the same time, it’s likely that you are not getting hired because you are incorrectly aligning your efforts with what the hiring process looks like from the employer’s perspective. Do you have a strategy for getting hired or are you just winging it? If you are thinking that you will only have to apply to a couple of industry positions before getting an offer or that hiring managers…

5 Job Search Time Wasters That PhDs Should Stop Doing Immediately

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Feeling discouraged with your job search strategy? Have you uploaded hundreds of resumes without hearing back from employers? Are you starting to think you are not cut out for an industry position? This happens to many PhDs at some point in their transition journey.  They don’t know how to execute a correct job search strategy. So they waste lots of time doing things that don’t yield any result. Then get discouraged. An industry job search is maddening. As PhDs we are never trained rigorously on how to do it in academia. Most PhDs are never trained on how to execute…

The Competitive Advantages Every PhD Has In Industry

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

If you have a PhD, you’re overqualified for an industry job. PhDs are lab rats and can’t understand business. You can’t get a job without industry experience. Do any of these sentences sound familiar to you? Have you been looking for an industry job unsuccessfully and have reached a point where you ask yourself if your PhD has any value whatsoever? These sentences are myths, commonly said by either academics who don’t understand anything about industry, or by other job candidates who don’t want to compete with PhDs. Hiring managers for PhD-level industry positions want the best candidates possible. After…

4 Powerful Skills PhDs Have And Employers Crave

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

The number of PhDs wanting to transition out of academia increases every year. Initially, most of these PhDs were recent graduates and postdocs.  But as the crisis in academia has gotten worse, we are seeing a lot of adjunct and even tenured professors wanting to leave. They feel professionally unfulfilled in academic positions because they are overworked, work in uninspiring roles, and/or are paid marginal academic stipends, fellowships, and wages.  Far too many PhDs are unable to find any meaning or joy in their academic careers, which negatively impacts both their professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, many of these PhDs…

The Number One Reason PhDs Fail To Get Hired In Industry

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Today, I want to talk about the number one reason you are not being hired. You might think it’s because you are overqualified or underqualified for your target position. Or that you just can’t get hired because you lack industry experience. But the number one reason you are not getting hired is because you are invisible to industry hiring managers and recruiters. They simply don’t know who you are or the value you bring to the table. Understanding and accepting this should encourage you to change the way that you approach your job search.  Only then will you increase your…

Stuck And Purposeless In Academia? Here's What To Do

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Feeling purposeless and stuck? Every PhD will reach a point in their academic career where they have to reconnect with their purpose. Maybe you realize that you are not doing what you are doing for the right reasons. That you are working towards some else’s goal. Maybe you feel that achievements like a new publication or the title of “Doctor” are some sort of carrot that you have to chase without having a clear end in sight. This is especially true at the end of your academic career, where you have spent years working towards your PhD, or chasing endless…