It is important to start planning ahead for your future career early on in your research journey. Whether you have a chosen career in mind or if you are still unsure, you need to be proactive in making yourself employable and preparing yourself for making the transition to a career within or beyond academia.
Planning your career is like doing your PhD, both require research. The difference in this case is you are the object of investigation. Reflecting upon yourself is key to knowing what is important to you, what you are drawn towards and where you want to go in life. At the same time, this analysis also identifies the unique mix of knowledge, skills and insight that you have to offer future employers. Use the resources to listen to how others have made the journey from research degree into work and help to understand the options and issues that you are exploring:
|Early Career Blog||
Specialist careers advice for doctoral and post-doctoral
|FindAPhD.com||Careers beyond academia|
|Jobs on Toast||Unlocking the value of your PhD|
|University of Huddersfield Researcher Environment blog posts||Life after thesis and A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single PhD|
|Vitae||What do doctoral graduates do?|
|Vitae||What do researchers do?|
|Vitae||Pursuing an academic career|
What employers look for, focusing on research careers beyond academia
|Wellcome Trust Report|
There are many fantastic ways to develop your employability, gain new experiences and discover new thinsg about yourself.
Some of these will be applicable across the board (e.g volunteering, LinkedIn Learning, student roles with the SU). See the Opportunities Catalogue for more information.
Some of these will be ring-fenced for PGRs, see the graduate website for more details.
Once you have identified your strengths and areas for development at the beginning of your degree using the Skills Audit, create a plan to address the gaps. Vitae's RDF desribes knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers. The Getting Started In Research Lens is particualry relevant for PGRs.
For those who have, or are about to complete a doctoral degree, there are a small number of organisations with very competitive PhD entry employment programmes, which recruit annually. These include: Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey (both management consultancy companies), Astra Zeneca and GlaxoSmithKline (pharmaceutical companies), British Petroleum, Microsoft Research, the Bank of England and JP Morgan (investment bank).
The educational charity - The Brilliant Club - runs several paid schemes for PhD and Master's students to undertake part-time work teaching, coaching and mentoring school pupils and prospective university students. These can be great ways to use your academic skills to energise young people and develop skills relevant to a range of educational roles.
Useful job sites for both academic posts and roles outside academia requiring or benefiting from PGR/doctoral qualifications:
-The Times Higher Education UniJobs (global jobs in universities including academic, research related, management and professional services).
-ECM (recruitment consultants in various technology fields with a section dedicated to graduate/PhD roles).