Ph.Ds Benefit From Technical Training For Job Advancement
Many PhDs find themselves in uncomfortable positions these days. Societal forces beyond their control have ripped the moorings from beneath the traditional career track many of them planned on taking. Currently, and for the near future, the number of doctoral graduates far exceeds the number of available professorship slots. As a result, some graduates end up taking part in the dreaded adjunctification of higher education, working for next-to-nothing with scant benefits, little respect and an impossible teaching load. Believe it or not, there are even tenure-track positions that drive some to leave academia altogether. This situation leaves many highly educated and capable people in a state of frustration over their career prospects.
Hope Found in Tech Sector
One promising path for the stuck or displaced doctorate holders lies in the technology sector. With the willingness to undergo some technical training for job advancement, the typical social science Ph.D. can gain a substantial advantage in the job market.
While some skills acquired via doctoral studies mirror those that non-academic candidate gets through on-the-job training, those with work experience tend to edge out the equally qualified but less experienced in the minds of many hiring managers. Highly-educated candidates may seem like a fit, but if they do not possess hard skills, such as coding, they risk losing to less-educated competitors with more tangible, market-ready skills.
Depending on the particular discipline and circumstances, many Ph.D.s are finding ways to enter lucrative jobs in the tech industry. This burgeoning piece of the economic pie values the ability to master tools, create solutions and innovate – many of the same qualities necessary to earn a doctorate successfully. The key to tipping the scales often involves tweaking the technical skills from doctoral studies. You may have written R code for your statistical analyses, but can you write functions that extend those analyses to new datasets? How easy is it to follow your code? Is it available for anywhere for potential employers to see? These may seem like inconsequential questions, but for someone who is thinking of hiring you to produce analyses, they are anything but that.
A System For Clarity
Listing a variety of technical skills on a resume can show potential employers the candidate is committed to learning the things needed to succeed at the company. However, sometimes, it takes more to make the transition from academe to the private sector.
Often, the Ph.D. trying to migrate to the technology sector needs the benefit of an organized mentoring program. Professionals that have firsthand knowledge of what employers are seeking can help applicants to exhibit skills in the best possible light. Through patience, guidance and careful planning, Ph.D. job seekers can successfully move into the well-paying and expanding technology market.