Alternative careers to academia

There is no doubt that a doctorate’s career path is influenced greatly by their subject specialism and qualifications but it doesn’t always have to be as a lecturer or researcher in higher education.

Visiting our careers centre and mapping out your career with a specialist advisor will help immensely but registering on job sites and social media portals such as LinkedIn will also widen your careers horizon and also your appeal both nationally and internationally.

Depending on your area of research you can explore a range of careers that would not only utilise your academic knowledge but may even give you the opportunity to continue developing your research area whilst pursuing a career. An option that is constantly overlooked is enterprise and the chance to start up a business or a consultancy practice.

Academics are in demand for careers in education, policy making, civil service, local government, management, finance, information technology, marketing, health and of course research and development within large private and public organisations.

Discipline-specific infographics taken from  tells us that doctorates pursue a ‘diversity of pathways’ after graduation. The 2009 ‘What do graduates do?’ report based on a total of 24,780 respondents split across subject disciplines below revealed the following range of job titles:

  • Design and media associate
  • Museum collection manager
  • Policy advisor
  • Team leader
  • Fraud prevention manager
  • Solicitor
  • Arts officer
  • Development officer
  • Writer/freelance writer
  • Editor
  • Air quality meteorologist
  • Business analyst
  • Consultant/management consultant
  • Product developer
  • Production editor
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Regulatory executive
  • Auditor
  • Assay development and validation scientist
  • Programme manager
  • Research and development manager
  • Consultant
  • Lead clinical scientist
  • Head of chemistry manufacturing operations
  • Senior house officer
  • Business development manger
  • Senior regulatory executive
  • Consultant educational psychologist
  • Supply chain consultant
  • Vehicle dynamics engineer
  • Actuarial trainee
  • Patent examiner
  • Credit risk analyst
  • Global energy manger
  • Senior analyst/Statistician
  • Intellectual property manger
  • Aerodynamics engineer
  • Development officer
  • Organisation behaviour consultant
  • Policy advisor
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Financial manager
  • Trainee Barrister
  • Writer/freelance writer
  • Editor
  • Project or programme manager