Developing your Career Path Outside of Academia

What career options are open to me outside of academia? Where do my academic and other skills and experiences fit within a non-academic career path? How do I get started? How have others found challenging and rewarding work outside of the academic setting?

This section includes a wide variety of links and articles exploring: challenges to exploring careers outside of academia, typical careers paths outside of academia associated with various fields of study and biographies and Career Profiles to provide inspiration.

1A. Challenges to Exploring Careers Outside of Academia

The majority of PhD candidates initially aim for a career as a professor. Despite this, between 50 to 75 per cent of PhD graduates find challenging and rewarding work outside of academia. One of the largest initial responses – instead of barrier to exploring options outside of academia is a psychological one. Given the familiarity with, and emphasis on, the academic route, admitting to yourself and others that you may be exploring a different path can be difficult. We see this difficulty compounded by fears of making the wrong choice, disappointing family and colleagues, uncertainty about other options, lack of familiarity with job search protocol and uncertainty about where one’s skills may fit. Choosing to explore non-academic careers can be a daunting choice and pursuing an alternative path it is a major career transition. However, those who make an informed decision to leave academia tend to find the move both satisfying and liberating. Here are some articles on the challenges and rewards of exploring a parallel path and inspiration to think 'outside of the box.'

1B. Articles on Careers Outside of Academia

1C. Bios and Career Profiles

1D. Sectors and Career Paths for Various Disciplines

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