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PhD Alternative Career Survey Data With Job Search And Employment Infographic

job and recruitment infographic | Cheeky Scientist | career survey
Written By: Isaiah Hankel, Ph.D.

Having a PhD is a significant advantage.

Don’t let other people confuse you.

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.

If you have a PhD or are on your way to having one and you’re reading this, you are poised to enter into any alternative career of your choice.

The only thing that can hold you back is yourself — by choosing to be one-dimensional and choosing to ignore the less objective transferable skills that will complement your PhD and improve your career trajectory.

A PhD offers you great advantages over other job candidates and over the population in general.

More than anything else, your PhD has taught you how to find answers.

Your PhD has taught you how to learn.

After all, a PhD, or a doctor of philosophy degree, is essentially a degree in knowing how to acquire knowledge.

This makes you extremely valuable.

According to a large-scale survey reported by Forbes, the top three desired skills for every industry position are: critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and correct decision-making.

In other words, you have to be able to identify problems, find the right problem, and then find the right answer to that problem.

Guess what? PhDs excel in all three of these areas.

Never forget the fact that you are a researcher.

You are highly trained in identifying problems and finding solutions to those problems.

Think of all the uncountable hours, days, week, months, and years (even decades!) you’ve spent trying to find answers to the world’s toughest unknown questions.

You know how to approach questions from angles that other job candidates would never see.

You know how to follow a lead through 5 academic journal articles, 7 book references, and a plot in a figure that was published 15 years ago just because it helps prove some minute aspect of your overall hypothesis.

While most people are skimming nonsense on a message board, you have the research skills needed to dig deeply into credible resources to find credible information.

The problem is that many PhDs struggle to leverage these skills when it comes to executing an industry job search.

Instead, these PhDs see an industry job search as a black box.

They’re unsure of what’s normal and what’s not normal.

They’re unsure of their options.

They’re unsure of where to get started.

As a result, they feel alone and often opt out of the job search process altogether.

Don’t be one of these PhDs.

Get the information you need to understand how an industry job search works.

Learn what the common sticking points are for an industry job search.

Learn what the most common questions and answers are.

This year’s PhD Alternative Career Survey Data will help get you started…


To learn more about transitioning into industry, including instant access to our exclusive training videos, case studies, industry insider documents, transition plan, and private online network, get on the wait list for the Cheeky Scientist Association.

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Isaiah Hankel Ph.D.

Isaiah Hankel Ph.D.

Isaiah is a Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology and internationally recognized Fortune 500 consultant. He is an expert in the biotechnology industry and specializes in helping people transition into cutting-edge career tracks.

Isaiah believes that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life right now, you should make a change. Don’t sit still and wait for the world to tell you what to do. Start a new project. Build your own business. Take action. Experimentation is the best teacher.
Isaiah Hankel Ph.D.
  • Carlie Stevenson, PhD

    I’m shocked! I had no idea how man unemployed PhD’s there were and how many Cheeky Scientist associates there are all over the world. Clearly, the PhD community is in need of useful information to help transition into high-paying industry jobs. Just the articles on negotiating alone are priceless. Thanks so much for this eye-opening information.

  • Marvin D’Esprit

    Holy crap! 14% of PhDs are unemployed after defending? I really can’t believe that PhDs struggle that much with the process of transferring into industry. And I can’t believe that so many choose to waste their time in post-docs when there obviously aren’t that many professorial jobs available. This infographic really makes everything you’ve been saying extremely clear.

  • Harvey Delano

    This is pretty much an eye-opener. Yes, we’ve been discussing how many PhD candidates get lured into believing that the best way to go is to assume there’s always going to be a job open in academia. This chart shows just how ridiculous that assumption is. I’m really grateful that I have this information to take with me. Looks like the numbers are really good for people who are taking advantage of it.

  • Matthew Smithson PhD

    When I transitioned into industry, I had never heard of Cheeky Scientist. I wish I had, as I think it would have helped a lot with the transition, but I’m more than happy to have the information now. You never know when you’re going to be changing positions and moving up. This is great info, easily shareable. Thanks.

  • Winona Petit

    These drawings are great for digesting large amounts of information and condensing them into small bites. I found that my career path took me very far from where I thought I would be following my PhD. I think it’s really important to think of yourself as a more well-rounded person than a geeky highbrow (as they used to call it). I’ve never regretted following my passions into industry and taking management jobs that wouldn’t have been predictable in my younger years. I highly recommend using every part of yourself to make a contribution and take advantage of a variety of experiences.

  • Kathy Azalea

    It won’t be long until I’m out of academia forever. I’m fascinated by the number of PhD’s who go to work overseas. I think life should be an adventure.

  • Julian Holst

    It looks like 68% of PhD’s either aren’t networking efficiently, or not networking at all! This data really backs up what all the writers from Cheeky Scientist try to tell us every week — that we really have to get out there and network, and we can’t take it for granted that we’ll get a good position just because we deserve one.

  • Madeline Rosemary

    This is a great way for us to really get a solid picture of what’s going on. It’s a good thing we were warned about a lot of what we’re seeing because we read the articles. Thanks for putting it so clearly.

  • Sissy MacDougall

    Very succinct way to paint a clear picture!

  • Theo

    You’re right about one thing. We’ve learned how to nail down every minute detail and track down every contrasting idea. So if it’s research that gets the job, then there’s nobody better qualified.