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For PhDs: Exploring Careers and Jobs Outside the Academy

Numerous opportunities exist outside of academia for individuals with PhD degrees. As you explore alternatives to academic positions you will want to consider what skills you have developed during your graduate work that you would like to use in settings outside of academia. Skills and competencies developed in graduate study are valued by many organizations in the private, not for profit and government sectors.

The average person changes jobs and/or careers 4-5 times during their working lives. Even within one career track, a number of reports on graduate education indicate that graduate students need to develop more than an expertise in a particular discipline. There are a number of core competencies (transferable skills) that cut across careers. To become career resilient it is recommended to develop the following core competencies, or the knowledge and skills of: teacher (at every level), project manager, evaluator of other's learning, mentor, communicator, faculty member, teamwork facilitator, leader, interdisciplinary thinker, and big-picture thinker. Having this set of core competencies will help prepare you for your immediate career goal and also for the inevitable changes in your career path over your lifetime.

CDC Resources to Assess Your Skills, Strengths and Values

Strategies for Exploration

Websites for PhDs Researching Nonacademic Careers



Humanities/Social Sciences


Think Tanks and Research

Links for Finding Nonacademic Jobs

All Fields - US and Abroad



International Development




Other Useful Links for Job Openings


The website of the Career Development Center at Binghamton University contains links to other websites as a convenience for its users and is not responsible for the contents of any linked site.

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Last Updated: 8/11/14