dcsimg

Careers for PhDs Outside Academia

Getting a PhD can enrich your mind, but what about your bank account? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 2009 median weekly wage of $1,532 for PhD holders, but despite this high figure, PhD candidates are rightly worried about the future. University jobs for PhDs are becoming scarce. The Los Angeles Times reports that between 2007-2009, openings for PhDs in math departments dropped 40 percent, while between 2008 and 2010, there was a 27.5 percent decrease in humanities department jobs listed by the Modern Language Association.

Matching School Ad
Subject

5 Careers for PhDs Outside of Academia

Despite these discouraging statistics, a PhD is still a good investment, because it is a respected credential beyond the university walls. There are many great careers for PhDs outside academia, including the five below.

1. Pharmaceutical Researcher

Scientific research is the career with the greatest number of advanced degree holders in the workforce, and demand for researchers with PhDs is expected to remain high. People with doctorates in life sciences, as well as medical doctors, have excellent prospects for employment in the pharmaceutical industry, as the aging population means that researchers who develop and improve drugs should be especially sought-after. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2009 mean annual wage of $91,720 for medical scientists working in pharmaceutical industry.

2. Lobbyist

Many political science, public policy, and economics PhDs find work with government agencies or as lobbyists for private sector businesses. Drawing on their training in statistical analysis and knowledge of the political process, they study pressing issues and present their findings to lawmakers. They influence policy and help shape political platforms. Earnings for health care, energy and financial services lobbyists in Washington, DC was as high as $177,000 in 2009, Washington, DC news source The Hill reports.

3. Biotech Careers

Biology and other life science PhDs are joining the biotechnology industry. Biotech companies harness biological processes to create drugs, improve agricultural production, implement greener industrial practices, and innovate many other products and applications. It is a booming field, driving a 21 percent growth rate for biological science jobs through 2018. In Florida, where biotech jobs increased 18 percent between 2001-2008, the average wage for the industry is $55,264, and PhDs can expect to out-earn this average, according to the Palm Beach Post.

4. Corporate Communications Manager/Director

Manager or director of corporate communications are great jobs for English PhDs. Communications directors oversee teams that conceive, write, and edit newsletters, reports, press releases, Web content and other material distributed within a company and/or between a company and its clients/the media. As the dependence on Search Engine Optimization grows, so does the need to have people around who are good with words. The average salary in 2009 was $126,000, according to data from Spring Associates, Inc.

5. Market Researcher

Market researchers conduct studies to gauge how consumers think and act, so psychology or social science PhDs apply their expertise in this field. By collecting and analyzing data to understand the psychology and behavior of consumers, market researchers help companies create and sell useful products. Job growth is expected to be especially robust for those with advanced degrees, including PhDs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual wage of $61,580 in 2009.

There are also bountiful jobs for PhDs in non-profit organizations, think tanks, and as independent contractors or consultants. So don't let the daunting odds of becoming a professor stop you from getting a doctoral degree. There are plenty of careers for PhDs outside academia that are rewarding and, yes, enriching.

 

 


Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked #11 in the 2014 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 1,600 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
  • Through its 47 endowed scholarships, it has awared $200,000 to Ph.D students over the course of four years.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Offers programs that start each month; admission is on a rolling basis.
  • Accepts Military Tuition Assistance (MTA) and helps students provide accurate documentation.
  • Puts a 120 student limit on lecture classes to improve student-to-instructor ratio. Lab settings typically have 6, 9, 12 or 24 students to one lab instructor.
  • Provides a Career Development Department to help students edit resumes and research the job market. It also maintains an updated record of potential employers in the industry. 
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
  • Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Through an agreement with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, its Yellow Ribbon Program provides tuition contributions to eligible students at a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Offers career-focused, degree programs to over 70,000 students at over 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 38 states.
  • Classes are offered year-round, typically in the daytime and evening. Online courses can be accessed anywhere, 24 hours a day. 
  • Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. 
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the top 50 Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 75% of undergraduate classes have fewer than 27 students, with a student to teacher ratio of 12:1.
  • More than 40 endowed scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Offers more than 180 majors and programs through 11 schools and colleges.
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
  • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
  • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
  • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
  • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • A private, Christian, liberal arts university founded in 1905 and open to students of any faith.
  • Has an average class size of 20 students.
  • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
  • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs.
  • Has approximately 5,000 students; 60% female and 40% male.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked as one of the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Founded in 1892 by the Free Methodist Church with the intent to provide a distinctive, Christ-centered college education for men and women. 
  • Its location in Greenville, Illinois, gives students opportunities for outreach, fun, hands-on-learning, and civic engagement.
  • Offers over 50 undergraduate majors as well as adult and graduate programs available online or at partnership locations.
     
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked as one of the Best Grad Schools for Nursing in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A fully accredited health sciences institution founded in 1909 in Oakland, California.
  • Offers degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and podiatric medicine.
  • Able to provide over 98% of its students with financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, fees and living expenses.
  • Has top faculty members who are regularly published in peer-reviewed journals and books.
     
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Quick School Search
widget loading image

 

Featured Schools