If you are reading this article, I think you are completed your PhD or you’re on the verge of completing it.
If you are in the second case probably you have completed your thesis, or viva or just submitted your thesis or you are waiting for your final call. That is why you are here, searching for some options, what to do after completing a PhD.
Have you ever wondered what life will be like after your doctor of philosophy? Perhaps the first answer will be to become a professor.
It’s true, the first option after PhD is obviously academics. But there are a lot of other options and other things that you should care for.
You may have seen a lot of bad days (like a nightmare!) during your PhD and if your guide or supervisor is not happy with you! I can’t even imagine what you must have endured.
Many of my friends and colleagues were leaving their PhD in between because their collaboration was not good with their guide.
Any way, if you are here means you have completed or about to complete your PhD. First of all congratulations for completing it.
This article I am writing to motivate you and make you happy, your life is going to be happy. In this article, we will discuss life after PhD in terms of career, social and emotional point of view, my personal experiences and how to go ahead after PhD.
The doctor of philosophy- a PhD is a dream for many, although hard to get, the rewards are unmatched. A highest level of degree in any education system- PhD can’t be achieved easily, you have to clear an entrance exam, get your research proposal approved, complete a course work and a lot of other things only to get into PhD.
After all that you only get admission, during the tenure of PhD one should have to do research and only research on a particular topic and to provide knowledge.
And that is it! PhD is all about finding something new, discover new knowledge to solve a problem.
It makes up to 5 years to 8 years for completion.
Related article: How long does it take to get a PhD?
Life after doctor of philosophy(PhD):
Trust me when you complete your PhD, the very next day you realize that your social life becomes zero. Don’t rush to get a job.
Give some time to yourself, meet people, your friends, family members and other people and inform them you completed your PhD. They feel proud of you. If possible arrange a small gate to gather or party to let people know that you have endured the highest level of academic honor.
See it’s a tough task, of course, you should be proud of yourself! But it is not about telling people your story, it is about to inspire them.
Start a fresh new social life. Connect with people first. Take some rest and think about your likes and dislikes during PhD. It will help you to decide your career.
If you don’t like lab work or writing, or reading or computer work don’t worry there are so many options after PhD. so don’t worry about that just decide your interest.
If you don’t like to teach or you are not interested in academics, don’t go ahead, go in research. But don’t switch in between. To make steady progress in your career, it is better to choose your path from starting.
The second thing you should understand after completing your doctorate is that now you are an expert in something which means you are above others in your field. So don’t rush to get a job at any price. Give yourself some respect, don’t go for any non-related jobs.
What is the point of getting a job where you and a post-graduate fellow are on the same post with the same salary. You are a doctor now, you must be paid and honored higher.
Let me give you an example of mine, some well-known and reputed coaching classes want to recruit me with some decent salary but the problem is, i have to work the same as like other graduate or postgraduate employees. My degree is only for their organizations esteem. They just want to show parents that our faculties are PhD.
Although they had offered me a decent amount, still, it isn’t for me, even not for all of us. We sweated, worked hard, tolerated extreme torcher and invested 5 to 6 years to get a label of “Dr ”, to be a doctor of philosophy and to be an expert in our field. Then why to waste all these only to earn some extra money! Think about it.
Now next I will try to explain to you regarding your emotions. See, PhD or job or career are just a part of life like emotions, social life or anything else. We have to balance all things in life otherwise, at last we will have to regret what we lost.
If you somehow disconnected emotionally with your parents, friends, girlfriend or boyfriend. Meet them, go for lunch or ride and express your emotion with them. You might have lost connection with people during PhD, it may happened, PhD is a tough task mentally and physically.
Try to explain to them your situation and things will get better. Once you have done all this, you feel relaxed. Now it’s time to boost up and search for a job.
There are numerous opportunities for a doctor. Here i am enlisting some of the career options you may go into.
Read further: 10 proven tips to write a thesis for PhD.
The evergreen and most secure career option for a PhD fellow is a lecturer. As a teacher or lecturer you should have to teach students, nothing else. You can spend your life in peace.
But if you want to achieve something! Or to endure knowledge, you also can do some research as a professor as well.
You can design a project, get funds and let students complete it. You can publish research and articles, and make yourself famous in your discipline.
Academics is a great place, trust me. Though you are in university, you can work independently.
Yet another option for you is to go into extensive research only. You can apply in government as well as private research organizations. Where your major responsibilities are to develop new products, assays, SOPs, and protocols for a company or organization.
The advantage of research is obviously, you get paid more. But it has some major disadvantages.
Your research belongs to your company, organisation or institute. You are paid for that thus it’s rights belong to them. Furthermore, you can’t work independently from your organisation. You have to follow their guidelines, work ethics and rules.
Your own business:
After a PhD everyone has to earn money immediately. But here I am not talking about a business which takes several years to set up. You can start something by yourself.
For example, PhD in clinical science, genetics, genetic counseling, psychology, medicine or other related disciplines can open their own counseling centre or clinic.
Your business will grow quickly.
Or if you are an adventurer, you can start your own research centre or laboratory for testing and research.
Work with NGO:
For some PhD in social science or social welfare, can join an NGO and work with their project. You can lift their projects and get funding from international organisations.
You can sell your expertise on the internet. Start your business on the internet and sell your skills. Teach people how to do things. You can make your ebooks, courses and videos. You can sell it and create your brand.
Also, if you are passionate about making video or writing content you can choose youtube or blogging as your career.
Life after PhD is obviously not easy. We have to do struggle, hard work and preparation to achieve a good earning source as well as a career.
But make sure that your future is secure, because you have a highest level of degree, so if you are comfortable to do something new, give it a try.
Try to make a living by doing some good stuff, business, or something else. PhD is not about only doing research. Which path you will choose will depend on your interest, whether you want to be a millionaire, a good scientist, famous or only to make your life comfortable.
The choice is yours! Comment here and tell me what you are doing or what you want to after completing your PhD.
Dr. Tushar Chauhan is a Scientist, Blogger and Scientific-writer. He has completed PhD in Genetics. Dr. Chauhan is a PhD coach and tutor.