Sunday, 20 September 2009

What after a PhD?

What after a PhD - industry, academics, management or banking? This question generally confuse many of us because of several factors e.g. money, job satisfaction, work-life balance, job security and future growth, etc. Few of us have straight job priorities that is excellent. However, irrespective of any choice, it is important to start job hunting at the right time. Writing PhD can easily take up to six months. It is ideal time to start applying for jobs once first draft of your thesis is complete. Although, it is much better to start job hunting along with writing thesis considering the current market situation. Information below could be useful for job hunting:

1. Academics
There are three main stream in this category: post-doc or lecturer positions or fellowships.

1.1. Post-doc or lecturer positions

The first step could be to check web pages of various groups where you feel that your research interests could fit well. If you find something very relevant, but with no vacancies in that group, even then there is no harm in sending your CV to them. They may consider it in future if they found your profile promising and fitting into their requirements. This could be particularly useful for lecturer positions but make sure that your CV is going to the relevant person.

Other ways could be to sign up for job adverts. One excellent place for academic jobs is jobs.ac.uk while others could be academic jobs, European jobs, University jobs and Jobs for PhD, New Scientist Jobs etc. There could be several other such sites which could help you to keep updated with the current available positions.

If one is interested in academic position in Indian premier institutes such as Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Science (IIScs) or Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), the straight approach is to visit their web pages where you will normally find advert for vacancies. Fill their forms or send your CV to them. If they are interested, they will contact you for arranging further steps.

1.2 Research fellowships
Another
difficult but most impressive way is to secure post-doctoral fellowships for your further research. One route to secure them is to respond to fellowship adverts published through various job sites (described above in 1.1). The other route is to browse the websites of the UK research funding organisations such as The Royal Society, EPSRC, NERC, The Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research, The British Council, British Academy, Research Councils UK, Thee Nuffield Trust, etc., and write research proposals according to their guidelines and submit to them. Note that in most cases, there is an deadline for submitting such proposals so one should begin to look a year or so in advance as fellowships are very competitive. Even if your application is not successful, the advantage would be to gain experience to write research grants/proposals that you need to do anyway after few years if you want to stay in academia.

2. Industry, Management or Banking
Probably, I am not the right person to advice on the above. However, registering with various web sites such as jobsearch, prospects, career seeker, jobs1, jobsite, industrial jobs, etc., could be helpful. Apart from them, it is very useful to go to web pages on various companies and look for the jobs of your interest. If you are still in the University, another effective way could be to keep an eye on your 'University's career service' dairy.

2.1 Article invited on 'finding industrial jobs'
I feel that one way of returning help that we received from others is to help others! An article on 'tips for securing industrial jobs after a PhD' is warmly welcomed from any of my friends working in industries. I do not want to name them but am looking forward for their initiative to share their experiences that could benefit others.

3. Final words
This stage of life is a mix of pressure and joy: pressure to complete PhD, finding a job of ones interest and several uncertainties because of transition, and joy to start a new innings of lthe life. Everyone has to pass through this phase, so remain patient, calm, focused and plan the job thing carefully. I am sure things will fall at right place for you!

Good luck!
Prashant

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    Ugottit is a prominent information site for various educational aspirants, who want to study abroad for higher education. We as an online portal are associated with over 5000+ leading educational institutions and Universities spanning across 6 countries, including India.

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