Top 5 Successful Career Options after Ph.D.


For any student, choosing a career path almost always begins right from the moment he/she decides on a particular stream or field of studies. But, there could be deviations that may occur in future, which again depends on the changing interests of the students. Many learners and students are quite aware of the career options during their course of studies in college.

Some others have a keen interest in research and do not bother about the immediate career options. Doing a PhD is by no means an easy task. It requires a great deal of commitment, as the level of academic work and research is quite high. The dissertation writing skills also have to be really up to the mark as they make a significant impact on the outcome of the PhD. Nevertheless, there are a handful of learners who pursue their Ph.D. degrees, due to their specific aspirations. Now, there comes a time when these research students also have to choose some career option or the other. The following write-up explores some of the various career options after doing a PhD.

Career Options after PhD

To pursue or not to pursue a career in academia may be one of the most terrible decisions that a PhD research scholar may face. But, there is no need to fret. There are many successful career options for these PhD scholars to explore. The many skills that the PhD scholars learn during their years of going through the grind prepares them in countless ways. The only factor that needs to be considered is the exposure to these other areas. One should be well informed about other areas too and not too profoundly immersed only in a single direction. Other skills of PhD students throw up opportunities galore.

Some of the successful career paths that Ph.D. research scholars can take up are being a Market Research Analyst or even a Writer/Technical Writer, Consultant, Entrepreneurship and Medical Communication Specialists.

Market Research Analyst

This role exists in most of the companies and industries such as Information Technology, Electronics, and Biotechnology etc. These specialists working in these areas or sectors are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aspects of the specific industry. And this information or data is quite vast. Trying to gain insight into the data and evaluating the pros and cons of the data available and how this is helpful or suitable for the specific industry is what market research analysts do. As a PhD student, analysing large amounts of data and coming to an appropriate conclusion is a skill that is already present. And hence if you utilise this skill, and if you have a keen interest in the sectors mentioned above, you can certainly try out this role.

This role also has a high possibility to open up doors to future positions in the higher management. More and more innovation sectors and businesses are on the rise and the demand for a PhD, as an eligibility criterion will also increase.


A PhD scholar is very well suited to any career in writing. With so much of research and writing that happens over the coursework period during Ph.D., even providing dissertation help can be considered a great alternative career path. Irrespective of the field that you have chosen to do your PhD in, there are many writing career opportunities available. If you are a science PhD, then there are many technical writer positions available. Many technology-based industries are looking for writers with a thorough understanding of the technology along with excellent writing skills. Your ability to analyse topics, conduct research, summarise the whole reading/data is empowerment in itself. Furthermore, your expertise in your subject, adds more value. Magazine editing, publications, technical write-ups for companies, grant writing, tutoring are some of the many options available.  


Things have certainly changed in almost every sector. A few decades back it was the management graduates and MBAs who were given preference for any Management consulting job. But, now the scenario is entirely different. There is a steady rise of sectors that are technology or science-based. For these industries, an in-depth understanding of the industry is essential to be able to gauge things. This shift makes PhD scholars from the STEM background an apt choice for a consulting position in the industry.  


Conducting research dissertation can land you your future job! One comes across many ideas, innovations, and implementation techniques that can serve as the seeds of entrepreneurship. Many a time, you may not want to leave the idea to someone else, and you would want to associate with this right from the prototype to the final result. And, so this leads you to set up your own company or business in that particular sector.

Entrepreneurship can be a success even for PhDs. It depends on how one takes the learning experience and how well one is malleable to situations. Being innovative in approach with an out of the box thinking are some essential skills of an entrepreneur. If the willingness to learn these skills is present, then entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a fantastic alternate career option.

Medical Communication Specialists

Medical Communication Specialists or in short, technical writers in the medical field are involved to a great extent in the preparation of manuals and other medical and healthcare related materials. The healthcare industry has been slowly and steadily growing over the years – along with the demand for qualified professionals. A PhD is very well suited for this kind of role due to the various skills that are already present in the individual. Many communications happen involving the medical professionals, clients, patients and healthcare organisations. A great deal of information has to organised, edited and put across concisely – appropriate to the target audience. PhDs can do all these things easily and so, and it is a well-suited job for them.


Finally, there is no shortage of career options after completing a PhD. It all depends on what you want and whether you are ready to pursue alternative career paths. Some research scholars decide quite early on that they would get into the teaching field. There are also some who choose that teaching or academia is not their cup of tea and get into alternative career paths, sometimes completely changing their area of interest. So, ultimately it all depends on your interest and passion.

Apart from the above-stated career options, some of the other options include career in Product Management as a Product Manager; or even a Business Development Manager or a Competitive Intelligence (CI) Analyst. These career paths are mostly suitable for PhD Science graduates.

As a PhD scholar, there are many skills and competencies that you have acquired along the way. Some of these include Negotiation skills, Problem-solving skills, Event planning skills, ability to work independently with less supervision, Planning and meeting up the time deadlines, etc. And so it goes without saying that the alternative options that you have in front of you are limitless.

July 19, 2018

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