Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
PhD careers

Join Isaiah as he reveals the 15 PhD careers dominating 2021 and beyond. 

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains why PhDs need a job search strategy
  • Next, he reveals how PhDs settle for non-PhD careers out of desperation
  • Finally, Isaiah discusses the 15 PhD careers dominating 2021

From This Week’s Show… 

Why PhDs Should Have A Job Search Strategy 

I want every PhD to be ready for 2021. A lot of career tracks contracted in 2020, but many expanded. Those that expanded fortunately were PhD-level positions. For the most part, I am going to go through all 15 of these career tracks. I am going to give you the description for these job titles and help you understand these descriptions from a PhD viewpoint.

You start to see PhDs at different levels of their job search. Unfortunately, most PhDs wait until they are in a very desperate situation to finally act on their job search because necessity is the mother of innovation. It is not until you move from moderate to massive pain that you finally take action. You start to see a lot of desperation there. At this point, PhDs take up any job they can find, which is a giant mistake as they have spent so much time and effort in academia. 

PhDs are so educated, they possess so many different skills and now they are reduced to begging for whatever job they can take. The last moment of desperation leads them to target entry level jobs and settle with less pay.

PhDs Settle For Less In Desperation 

Under the pressure of desperation and fear of being unemployed, PhDs go from begging for any job to taking any job, especially the ones that someone with a bachelor’s or master’s can do. These PhDs have been in academia and paid so little for so long, and then they get paid less in that same role as somebody who has a bachelor’s or master’s.  Often, they have somebody with a bachelor’s or master’s managing them.

If you have a PhD, you have learned at the highest level, you can get into management level positions: you should be targeting top positions. You should not be in desperation mode, accepting any job offer just because you lost your post-doc or you have graduated. 

A simple example would be a data analyst versus a data scientist. A lot of PhDs unfortunately, will get hired as a data analyst because they see it as easier. Then, they work side by side with somebody with a bachelor’s or master’s in that same position, often getting paid less. Why not go for the higher level position as a data scientist? Learn a few skills that you can easily learn, whether it is programming or some other technical skill, and then why not learn how to actually talk to executives, investors, how to communicate, how to translate technical data into business data, into actionable business suggestions? You can do all of this, as a PhD. 

15 PhD Careers Dominating 2021

A few of these PhD career titles are buzzwords. They were just a very popular way of saying a position that is similar to a position that has been around for decades, but  has now been slightly tweaked, usually because of technology or because of the current state of the economy.

The PhD career track dominating on this list is the patent analyst. This is what I love about job titles is they shift over the years, sometimes in a matter of months based on what’s happening in the economy; or just because a word becomes a popular bubble word.

Although a patent analyst is similar to a patent examiner, it is more advanced as it mandates more research, innovation, and analysis skills.  PhDs are being hired into this role aggressively under the intellectual property umbrella. 

What do patent analysts do? They review potential patent applicants. They work for companies that are developing products. They may even assess proposed products which are not public yet.

So, they have to ensure a patent application will not fail legally and that it can be successful on the business side as well. This requires a lot of investigative work. It needs PhDs to leverage their research analysis skills and understanding of innovation. Reviewing a patent application is no less than reviewing a grant because it has to be analyzed based on novelty, merit, marketability, usefulness, and earning potential.

We see a lot of PhDs getting into patent analyst roles. 

PhDs are valued since they inherently possess all the skills necessary to succeed in these job titles.

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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