There is so much more than academia for PhD graduates and many of us are looking for these other options so I wanted to provide a list of some of the types of positions and industries to look for as a PhD candidate / graduate. This is by know means an exhaustive list but somewhere to get you started.
Market Research- Of course I started with this, as this is the industry I now work in. Market research job advertisements typically do not list ‘PhD’ in the criteria, but as the name market research suggests, research is at its core. Sell the research skills you have obtained throughout your PhD. This industry is particularly relevant to people with PhDs in the areas of psychology, marketing, business, neuroscience, food science, and data science. However, other areas could also most definitely apply (ensuring you sell your general research skills).
Non-University funded research organisations– There are many research organisations that are not affiliated with Universities in a really broad range of areas. One local (to me) example is the Global Centre for Modern Aging. Often these organisations will be looking for PhD graduates and often the jobs won’t be advertised. Try to network and proactively approach these organisations.
Research / Insight roles in companies- Many large companies have a dedicated research and/or insights role. Like with market research, these jobs often won’t list PhD as a prerequisite. Look for role titles such as research director, insights manager, research manager etc. These roles are required in all industries- just a few jobs I have seen recently in this space are for real estate companies, not for profit charities, banks, and TV channels.
Analyst- Again most industries have dedicated analysts (people who live and breathe data and statistics). These positions are particularly suited to those with PhDs in data science, however if you did hard core statistics throughout your PhD you can definitely sell this experience.
Behavioural Scientist- I read a statistic the other day from Gartner that they predict that by 2022, 25% of marketing teams will have a dedicated behavioural scientist. Being a behavioural scientist myself I find this trend super exciting! If you type ‘behavioural science’ into LinkedIn Job Search you will already find some jobs popping up, particularly in the US. Many of which state that they want PhD graduates with industry experience. This is good news for us in this area of research.
Government and Local Government- There are a variety of jobs in Government for people with a PhD! Look for titles such as policy officer, project manager, research officer, analyst.