High-Paying Non-Academic Jobs for PhD Holders

Getting a PhD is great. It comes with great skillsets that many organizations and industries find valuable and are willing to pay heavily for. Unfortunately, many people seek a PhD because they love the idea of undertaking an academic career at the University and becoming a Professor.

Statistics have shown that lately, many graduates are dropping the idea of enrolling for a PhD as they think they can’t do anything with it other than “Professing”. Thanks to Dr Gertrude Nonterah, medical writer and creator of The Bold PhD this myth has been broken. You can have a PhD and be a success outside academia.

Below are high-paying non-academic career paths that PhD holders should consider:

  • Higher education administration: An education administrator can work in both an academic and non-academic environment. As a higher education administrator, you oversee and provide instructional leadership and manage the day-to-day activities in universities, colleges, programs of study, curricula, budgets, etc.  Education administrators also direct educational businesses, correctional institutions, job training and community service organization.
  • Product Management: a product manager has learned the fundamentals of product management and is familiar with the rudiment of the product management process. Product management is an organizational function that guides every step of a product’s lifecycle-from its development to positioning and pricing-by focusing on the product and its customers.
  • Corporate communications: This is a practice of creating, fostering and maintaining a consistent brand image. A PhD holder with the following skills can avail themselves in the communication field: good writing skills, presentation and public speaking skills, research and critical thinking and technical skills.
  •  Global organizations:  PhD holders from STEM and non-STEM backgrounds can seek roles in global organizations like UNICEF, WHO and the UN. If your research addresses any social problem or any of the SDGs, and you have great experience in field research, then you just might be eligible for roles with a global organization.
  • Science communication: This is the practice of informing, educating and raising awareness on science-related topics. A science communicator is someone who bridges the gap between science and the public. You must not necessarily possess a degree in science communication, but it is important to have a background in communication, science, or journalism. Doctoral training (PhD) can help open some job doors.
  • Government policy and policy advising: A policy adviser is responsible for providing advice on regulatory and policy issues. They often work closely with policy analysts and spend their time gathering information to develop, Support, and implement policies. Some government agencies love to employ candidates with a degree in public administration, political science or a similar field.
  •  Specific industry public relations: Public relation is an act of disseminating and managing information from an individual or an organization to the public to affect their public perception. To become a public relations officer, one needs to have excellent communication skills, good IT skills, initiative, excellent interpersonal skills, creativity, presentation skills etc. a degree in English and creative writing, business/management, marketing, communication and media studies is a ticket to accessing this role.
  • Consulting: A PhD holder can work as a consultant in a firm or industry. They provide expert opinions, analyses, and recommendations to organizations or individuals based on their expertise. Consultants are essential fixers, serving as objective troubleshooters and providing strategies to prevent problems and improve performance.
  • User experience and research: It is a systematic study of target users and their requirements, to add realistic contexts and insights to design processes. User experience and research require one with a degree in technology, behavioural and social science or any related field.
  •  Marketing: Marketing for a specific industry or product means understanding a specific product’s audience on a deep level and developing that product’s positioning and messaging to appeal to that audience. PhDs seeking this role should have the ability to sell products and services, excellent verbal communication skills, and great customer service skills.
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