(Closed) Any PhD bees leave academia?

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m in the same boat as you — same timeline, too. Have you checked out VersatilePhD? Lots of resources there for academics thinking about leaving, and job postings, too. I’m finding the forums to be really helpful.

I’ve started to apply for stuff already. I figure it’ll take a while to start getting interviews and things, and if I get something faster than expected, I’ll consider leaving without completing the degree. So we’ll see. It’s stressful to think about starting a new path, but I know it’ll be better for me in the end than trying to stay in academia.

Post # 4
Member
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@bearlove:  I’m working on my clinical psychology PhD.  I’m not leaving academia (hopefully!) but I know that a lot of psychology PhDs can work for pharmaceutical companies as researchers.  They conduct studies on animals examining dosage level and effects (like, the smallest dose needed to achieve the desired effect of the medication).  That might be an option if you’re experienced with animal research.

Post # 6
Member
5001 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Me!!! I’m ABD too, getting a PhD in neuroscience in May and would rather be a waitress than stay in academia. I hate it and want to branch out from what I’m currently doing (preclinical research). I want to stay in research, but in industry and not doing actual lab work. I’m thinking project manager type job- still pays well (probably around $120-150K) but is more of a 9-5 job- or maybe a science writer. I just have no idea where to start looking for these types of jobs. If you want to switch from human research to animal research (or the other way around like me), you will probably have to do a post-doc. I’m going to look into post-docs and industry jobs and just hope I can get something!

 

Post # 7
Member
4327 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

Just a curiosity on my part, but what makes acedemia less than ideal for you ladies? 

Post # 8
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I am going to start my PhD this fall after a short stint in government… is there any reason to be concerned? Reasons that maybe, I shouldn’t do what I am thinking of doing?

Post # 9
Member
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m a happy academic Bee, but i know plenty of people who’ve left academia. The Chronicle of Higher Ed can still be a good job resource for ex- or soon-to-be-ex-academics. 

http://chronicle.com/section/Jobs/61/

There are non-academic job listings, and advice on leaving academia.

Good luck!

Post # 11
Member
4327 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

@bearlove:  #3 is the most compelling reason. If you will not be fulfilled by something, and there is something going strongly against your moral compass, it’s probably a wise decision to gracefully bow out. 

Have you thought perhaps about taking media courses, and marketing your skills as an expert in your field? Perhaps you could become an analyst somewhere? 

Or, if it takes some of the pressure off, would it be possible to teach basic courses at a community college level, or is this as corrupt as within universities? I’m not on the teaching end of academia, (though contemplated that career trajectory for a time) so I’m not sure if it’s realistic with your goals. 

Post # 12
Member
3241 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@StuporDuck:  I’m a PhD and currently teaching at a community college (part-time as an adjunct). There are issues at the community college level. Different issues than at a four year institution, but still frustrating and disheartening at times. Most faculty at community colleges are part-time, so that the school doesn’t have to pay a decent wage or benefits. That is in part why the cost is less at a community college, because the school doesn’t invest in the faculty.

@bearlove:  If you know academia is not where you want to be, it’s better (and probably easier) to leave academia after finishing the PhD. Finishing the PhD is a transition time, so potential employers are going to be more receptive to a change of direction in your career path.

You might want to target a job search in an larger city where there are more varied potential opportunities. Where I live right now, there aren’t any opportunities for a PhD outside of academia.

Post # 13
Member
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@bearlove:  I’m also ABD in Neuroscience (at my last thesis committee meeting we set a tentative defense date for December!) and looking to explore other options. Academia is just so difficult, multiple post-docs and even then there’s no guarantee of ever making it to full tenure-track professor. I love neuroscience and am 100% secure in my decision to pursue neuroscience for the rest of my life, but I totally get where you’re coming from in your desire to leave academia. I’ve applied to a couple of non-academic jobs (in pharma) and got the same response from everyone “we’re looking to fill this position within the next few weeks, contact us when you’re closer to graduation or degree in hand”.

ETA: one other thing I learned in my job search outside academia, which may or may not be feasible to you, but flexibility in location is really key. if you tell them you’re willing to move anywhere, they’re more likely to be able to place you somewhere where you’ll be a good fit.

Post # 14
Member
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@StarryNight2011:  Are you saying she should leave now with probably a master’s and forget about completing the PhD?

Post # 15
Member
3241 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@littlegraykitten:  No. I’m not in anyway telling her not to get the PhD.

I meant to say leaving after the PhD is a good time to transition to a new area and have edited my post above.

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