Ph.D. Job Search Beyond Academia

Doctoral level preparation provides a candidate with marketable skills beyond academia. If you are searching for a position in industry, government or other areas, consider the skills you bring. Typical Ph.D. skills include the following:

  • Subject matter knowledge
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking, analysis
  • Rapid learning
  • Teaching
  • Written and oral communication
  • Problem solving
  • Assessment/evaluation

Versatile Ph.D.

WMU has subscribed to Versatile PhD, an online community of career options, people, resources and support for those seeking a career beyond the academy. Versatile PhD is dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for PhDs in humanities, social science and STEM.

To access this free service for the first time, log into, GoWMU and you will find the link in the “My Self Service” channel. Click on “Versatile PhD subscriptions service login” and create a user profile. Once you have a user profile, you can access Versatile PhD without going through the portal.

Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Applications for positions in industry often require a resume, not a CV. A resume is meant to be targeted to the position, clean of extra information and no more than two pages. Pay close attention to the job description and tailor your resume.

Consider some of these career options

  • Higher education administration - teaching/writing/learning centers, research and public affairs, student and academic affairs
  • Consulting or independent work
  • Foundations and nonprofits
  • Publishing – academic, textbooks, non-academic
  • Cultural and historical organizations – museums, institutes
  • U.S. Federal Government
  • Professional research
  • International development
  • Entrepreneurship