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Non-academic careers there is life out there!

Dr. Tilly Line UWE Careers

Why think about life beyond academia? What is out there? What others have done career stories What you can do to prepare?

How we can support you

Why think outside the (academic) box?

You wanted to stay in academia, but things changed You did a PhD for its own sake and always had an open mind about your next career move

You still want to stay in academia, but the labour market doesnt look good
Any other reasons?

Why not?
You feel like (and have perhaps been told that) it would be a personal failure to leave academia You are convinced you know nothing

Youre surrounded by academics who have never left education themselves

Your academic wont support you to think outside of academia You dont have a traditional work history

Anything else?

The result
PhDs apply to academic positions they dont really want Non-academic jobs go to people less talented, less creative and less competitive than PhDs i.e. you! Educated, intelligent, motivated, socially concerned people (you again) end up in jobs that dont excite them or fully utilise their talents

It is a career change
This can be energising and exciting, but also daunting This is normal!

And there are things you can do to reduce your anxiety and increase your chances of success on the outside!

Reality check
The academic job market is competitive
Around 20,000 Doctorates are now awarded in the UK each year and this doesnt equal the number of academic jobs available

Perhaps not surprisingly, 50% of PhDs leave academia and this percentage is rising So where can you go?...

Education (teaching) schools, further education, adult learning Education (administrative and professional roles) utilising your understanding of the HE research environment, as well as administrative skills Public sector - Civil Service, government agencies and local government all require analytical, research and communication skills Industry research and development Healthcare sector and medical research both research and non-research roles

Business and finance - investment and retail banking, insurance and pensions particularly if you have specialist quantitative and statistical training

Consultancy - management consultancy or think tanks

Publishing - writing and editorial roles

Not-for-profit sector - charities and nongovernmental organisations

Entrepreneurial activities and self employment social enterpreneurship, starting your own business / charity / organisation / consultancy

Why are PhDs sought after?

Top three statements agreed by 47 employers:
1) University researchers who have experience of collaboration projects with industry are potentially very valuable to my organisation. 2) I am confident university researchers, at whatever stage, could potentially offer the skills package I am seeking.

3) I would like to see more people with a university (research) background applying for some of the jobs I advertise.
(Employers perceptions of recruiting research staff and students, University of Leeds, 2006)

Why are PhDs sought after?

Employers typically rank PhD skills in the following order:
(Recruiting Researchers a survey of Employer Practice Vitae 2009)

1. data analysis 5. interpersonal skills 2. problem solving 6. leadership 3. drive and 7. commercial motivation awareness 4. project managing

What can you do to prepare?

Broaden your value system beyond that of academia Reconnect with your preferences, passions and long-term goals Connect with PhDs working outside of academia Reframe your education what it can do for you, not what its keeping you from doing

What can you do to prepare?

Many employers would be happy to recruit PhDs, but do not actively signal this Start with those who already have links with the university Be aware of what how employers rank your skillsand know how to articulate them at interview
Recruiting Researchers a survey of Employer Practice Vitae 2009

What other PhDs have done

Careers stories available through Vitae LINK
- Particularly interesting planned happenstance' stories

- Illustrating how unplanned or chance events can influence career development opportunities.
- But you have to put yourself in a position to create and take advantage of these opportunities - Networking is key!

My career journey
BSc Geology and Geography MSc Environmental Science, Policy and Planning

Green Waste Officer Wildlife Trust

Lab Assistant BRI

Postdoc Researcher - ???

My career journey
Period of networking, work experience, gathering information

PG Dip Careers Guidance

Careers Advisor


What do you want to do?

In pairs, discuss (and write down): All the work options you think you have and/or you would like to have
Dont worry about how realistic you think it is, this is also an opportunity to think about what really motivates you 5 minutes each

What do you want to do?

Take one (or two) options and discuss: Your skills and experience
What can you already offer? 5 - 10 minutes and then feed back

What additional skills and experience do you need to gain?

And what do you think you need to do next?

10 minutes and then feed back

Further support
Identifying what really motivates you: Try looking at My Future Personality questionnaires are also available through the UWE Careers webpages
Both are designed to help you start to understand yourself and what is important to you

UWE Careers webpages
What do doctoral graduates do? Job profiles Sector profiles Effective CVs and applications

UWE Career Service

Careers /CV / application support: discuss career options, feedback on layout /content of CVs and applications
Online enquiry service: send in careers queries and CVs and applications for feedback

Graduate Jobs Link 2D11: get help finding specific job or work experience opportunities

Have an appointment with a member of the team at UWE Careers

Register now!
Online portal to UWEs career service

Need to register to be able to book careers appointments, as well as events, fairs, presentations and workshops Use the questions link to ask for careers information and advice i.e. feedback on your CV Look at lists of resources example CVs

PGR student support

Career management during your PhD Career options academic/non academic CV advice academic/non academic

Im specifically available for this two routes to book an appointment or request some e-guidance (online)
1) Have an initial 20 min careers appointment with one of the Employability and Enterprise Officers if necessary, they can then refer you to me, another careers advisor, or a different member of the employability team (depending on your needs) Make an appointment via InfoHub, Phone 0117 3285678, or visit Ezone or an Information Point and someone will book it for you. 2) Contact me directly at

Going forward
One thing you have found useful One thing you will do as a result of today