Gone are those days when career used to mean a single rigid profession. More and more people are now choosing to incorporate their hobbies and other special skills in their occupation. They are not even afraid of deviating from an academic system to find career options and opportunities elsewhere. And the Ph.D. is not an exception here. A lot of Ph.D. holders are turning to a different profession, not always because their patience has run out but more because they have a way to translate their all-rounded ability into a more practical job. It is not difficult because the rigorous nature of a Ph.D. degree imparts an array of unique strengths and qualities in you and these have immense value in a specific industry or for a business endeavor.
A Ph.D. fellow has every right to pursue their aspiration, be it starting a business or joining a firm, and that too without detaching from the skills Ph.D. has showered on you. If you do so, there is no reason to think, you are betraying the years of efforts into doing something completely unrelated. Rather, bask in the glory of the fact that you have just found a way to utilize your maximum potential in the most positive way. To know why let’s look at the practical skills Ph.D. has instilled in you and how they are relevant to any career you pursue:
1. Presentation Skill: As part of your Ph.D. program, you must have presented your paper at a number of conferences. That certainly developed your ability to present information to a large audience- a much-wanted skill in the corporate world.
2. Research Skills: Long years of searching for information during Ph.D. impart in you a methodical insight for gathering and investigating data, finding a solution and analyzing the trend in the existing structure. These skills are highly useful in almost every other profession you can think of.
3. Analytical Skill: More than 50% of Ph.D. work is an evaluation of data from a survey, questionnaires or opinion poll. This rigorous data analysis during your Ph.D. days endows an analytical mind in you and prepares you for complex data and trend analyses in business decision making.
4. Problem-solving Aptitude: Problems do not daunt a Ph.D. fellow the way they do to others. In fact, the whole point of doing a Ph.D. is to detect problems and find solutions. This skill is considered a gold-mine in handling business and will push you to the top rung of the corporate ladder in a stint.
5. Pro-activeness: Research converts you into a self-motivated, pro-active individual. When planted in a social scenario or business environment, people like you can detect problems, take initiatives and design practical solutions to create a better tomorrow.
6. Independent Work Skills: As a Ph.D. fellow, you wrote a thesis, conducted a survey and prepared for a conference all single-handedly. This is a key skill in managing a project independently.
7. Organizational Skills: As a writer of an original thesis, you are a presenter of information in a neat way. You can easily maintain a whole body of information and database for a huge organization.
8. Interpersonal Skills: If you have spent a few years abroad for your doctoral research, you must have mixed with people from other culture, community, and ethnicity. This has made you highly interactive with others. In a business environment, this means an outstanding team-management skill and ability to interact with colleagues from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds to successfully move towards common goals.
9. Negotiation Skills: With a compulsion of chasing deadlines, Your Ph.D. has roundly honed your negotiation ability. This is a virtue in any profession you go in afterward.
10. Communicative Skills: Conference presenters are excellent speakers and will most certainly excel in leadership quality – be it social or political, corporate or spiritual.
The good news is you already got these skills. So, if you feel your flicker of interest going boundless and branching out in multiple streams, do not hesitate to embrace the opportunity of trying. Translate your skills into an achievable job. Who knows, your entrepreneurial idea can be a money-spinner and as much beneficial for the society as your thesis. After all, a Ph.D. is valid across all walks of life.
Write to us the alternative career that you built using the skills from a Ph.D. program. We will feature your story in our next blog.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is not to persuade people from Ph.D. but to maximize their full potential in a more practical way so that they do not lose their passion in the dead-end of an academic system. There is always a world of opportunities around and beyond it. You just need to tap into those channels.