Hosted By

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

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You will learn that that employers are looking for PhDs that can adapt quickly and learn autonomously.
  • You will learn 5 reasons why PhDs learn faster then anyone
  • Finally you will that having these skills make PhDs valuable candidates in the professional world

I often get asked what is the number one skill that I think PhDs have and every time I’m quickly able to respond with “learning how to learn”. PhDs learn faster and more autonomously than any group of people in the world. In fact, they’re doctors of learning because they’re doctors of philosophy and philosophy is knowledge and the ability to ascertain knowledge.

In today’s rapidly changing job market, employers are constantly on the lookout for candidates who can adapt quickly and learn autonomously. PhDs are at the top of this desired pool, and it’s not just because of their specialized knowledge or research skills.

Here are five reasons why PhDs learn faster and better, making them prime candidates for employers who prioritize quick and independent learning.

1. Advanced Research Skills. PhDs are trained to dive deep into complex subjects, dissect large volumes of information, and distill the essence of their findings. This skill set is directly transferable to learning in a new job role. Employers value PhDs because they can independently undertake comprehensive research to overcome learning curves, allowing them to grasp new concepts and systems at a pace that outstrips other candidates.

2. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving. A hallmark of a PhD education is the development of critical thinking. PhDs are adept at analyzing problems from multiple angles, questioning assumptions, and developing new hypotheses. When confronted with new information or tasks in a professional setting, they can deconstruct the problem and form innovative solutions. Their trained instinct to approach problems methodically enables them to learn not just quickly, but also with a depth that ensures robust understanding and application.

3. Tenacity and Perseverance. The journey to a PhD is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a significant amount of perseverance and resilience, qualities that are indispensable when learning new skills or adapting to a new job. PhDs have weathered the storm of rigorous academic challenges, often over many years, which means they’re unlikely to be daunted by complex, unfamiliar tasks in a new role. Employers appreciate this tenacity, knowing that a PhD will not shy away from challenging learning experiences.

4. Self-Directed Learning. PhDs are, by necessity, self-starters. They have spent years managing their own projects, setting goals, and meeting deadlines without close supervision. This autonomy in learning and development translates seamlessly into the workplace. Employers can trust PhDs to take initiative in their learning process, identify their own knowledge gaps, and seek out the resources needed to fill them. This level of self-directed learning ensures that PhDs can upskill themselves effectively without the need for constant hand-holding.

5. Ability to Synthesize and Communicate Complex Information. An often overlooked but critical aspect of a PhD’s education is the ability to synthesize complex information and communicate it effectively to different audiences.

In a professional context, this means that PhDs are not only fast learners but are also able to teach and explain concepts to their colleagues, enhancing the collective knowledge of the team. Employers value this dual capability because it means PhDs can help elevate the entire team’s understanding of complex matters.

In conclusion, the intellectual rigor and personal qualities that PhDs develop during their academic pursuit are precisely what make them stand out as fast and autonomous learners in the professional world. Their research prowess, critical thinking, perseverance, self-directedness, and communication skills provide a potent combination that can be applied to almost any field.

For employers, hiring a PhD is not just about the depth of expertise they bring; it’s about investing in someone who can quickly adapt, learn, and contribute to the company’s success from day one.

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