Academic and Non-Academic Careers for PhD Graduates

Done your PhD dissertation and got a PhD degree in hand? It is news of joy that you have finally come to the end of your academic career and achieved the highest qualification. However, with joy, it is also a moment to think about what is next. What do you want to do next in your future? Do you want to continue in academics or go for non-academic careers? Let’s leave this decision to you, as many PhD graduates know what they want to do after graduation. However, they need some guidance.

Keeping this in mind, today’s article is all about enlisting and explaining some top academic and non-academic career paths for PhD graduates. The whole article is going to be split into two parts, i.e., academic and non-academic career paths. So, let’s start with the academic career options first.

Different Academic Career Options for Students with PhD Degrees

Doing a PhD degree is a tough job. The pressure of dissertation and supervisor tensions give students a very tough time. However, now you have come through all of such problems. It is now time to focus on utilising that research and finding yourself a career. Hence, a brief description of the academic career paths for PhD graduates is as follows:

1. Postdoc Academia

The postdoc is the further continuation of studies if a PhD graduate wants to study further. However, it is not purely a study degree. This 1-4 years fellowship is like a position of researcher at a university or research institute. The PhD graduate continues his research and also gets paid by the university. In a postdoc, you have a greater deal of flexibility than in a PhD degree. Normally, the students research the same subject area as in PhD.

2. Researcher or scientific consultant – Industry

The second academic career path that PhD graduates can choose is that they can work as a researcher or scientific consultants for industries. They can work on industry-related issues and, by conducting research, tell them how to mitigate the problem. For example, the Tunnel Boring Machine’s blades get roughed after 1m advancements. The PhD graduate working in the industry can suggest the news to build tougher blades to cur the rock. In this career, the graduate still remains attached to academia.

3. Assistant Professor or Professor

Another good career option for PhD graduates is that they can work in a university as an assistant professor or professor after their degrees. Many universities in the UK look for PhD students who have completed their degrees recently. You can apply to those positions and get yourself hired as a teacher in a prestigious university. Also, teaching is a noble profession that many researchers and graduates try to adopt. As per a study, more than 20% of doctorate graduates prefer to go for teaching positions.

4. Get Yourself Attached with a Journal

Many international and national journals hire academicians and PhD graduates for a different piece of work. You can work as a journal editor if you are good at editing. If you are not good at editing, no worries, you can join the peer-review team of the journal. In a peer-review role, you review the submitted research articles and papers for publication and pass your comments. This academic role is fascinating and can be good for you if you love reading, editing, and commenting the research publications. The cheap dissertation writing UK offers multiple positions to PhD students in this field.

Various Non-Academic Career Options for Doctorate Students

After discussing the academic career options, it is now time to shed some light on non-academic careers that you can choose after PhD degree. These career options do not involve researching and working at a research institute or university. Hence, a brief description of the primary career options is as follows;

1. Be an Entrepreneur

PhD research is extensive and sometimes leads to the development of something very cool, e.g., a gadget to improve the life of humans. What do you think if you scale the production of that gadget and make it a career? It is called entrepreneurship, where you develop something as part of your research and adopt that something as a business and start selling it. So, if you have done such kind of research, then the idea of making a company and becoming an entrepreneur is not a bad one.

2.  Adviser to Policymakers

The second non-academic career path that you can choose after PhD is being an adviser to policymakers or politicians on several issues. Your experience and knowledge of the things make you the best candidate for such jobs. For example, a politician is campaigning for awareness of climate change and its effects on our planet Earth. Now, you, as a PhD degree holder in climate change and sustainability, can advise him better on how to make the campaign successful one. Therefore, being an adviser to politicians and policymakers is another good and lucrative job that PhD graduates can opt for.

3. Getting a Professional Job

If you are a field boy and want to apply the gained knowledge, then getting a professional job in your field of study is the career to go with. You can join an international or national company to see how things work in practice. Professional jobs allow you to extend your arms and apply your PhD knowledge to real-world problems. Many companies and international organisations post vacancies on their career portal and look for PhD graduates for those positions. Apply to those positions and get the most out of your PhD degree.


Conclusively, there are multiple career options that PhD graduates can opt for after the completion of their degree. Some are academic, and some are non-academic. It depends entirely on the graduates’ interest that which job they want to do. Going into the field and joining the professional team of their related people is the most popular career path among doctorate graduates. Other career paths also have their importance.

By Cary Grant

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