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Top Career Choices for PhD Graduates in the UK

The modern economy is based on knowledge as a key resource that enables the active creation of new business and job opportunities. There are more and more companies and institutions that recognize the importance of knowledge and the ability to approach the solution of complex problems independently and creatively. For them, recent PhD graduates are an important resource, and such institutions are at the same time a desirable environment for those who want to keep the practical component in their scientific work. In their future careers, PhD students have the advantage to choose between different career options.

A Milestone in Their Careers

A doctorate is considered one of the milestones for an academic. Its preparation usually lasts at least three years and is characterized by a double affiliation: it is considered an early stage of an academic career, and, at the same time, it is an extended period of training, based on high-quality research.

In most countries, a PhD candidate is still considered a student, although they are young researchers at the same time. This may be related to the Bologna Process, which has increased the importance of the teaching elements of doctoral programs. A doctorate is also a legal requirement for intermediate and senior academic positions, and in some cases for beginners.

PhDs who want to build an academic employment need not be required to attend training designed for their teaching skills. Indeed, only a few countries have legal provisions that define teaching practice as a mandatory element of doctoral programs. Moreover, when teacher positions are defined in the regulations, the obligation to teach applies to only some categories of PhDs.

Top Careers in Different Job Sectors for PhD Graduates

After getting a degree and crossing that milestone we talked about, a PhD graduate can choose between some of the highest-paying jobs currently offered on the market. They can assume a leading role right from the start and use transferable skills to help their new company strive in the business. We will now show you certain career options that the top PhDs should consider.

1. Choices Related to Medicine

According to much research, the highest paid jobs for PhDs are related to medicine. Studying and practicing medicine is not easy at all and it is quite demanding. Although we live in a time when we think that money is the most important thing, health is still in the first place. People who work in health care must be well paid because they do the most stressful job in the world. 

Today, health and money are connected, and if you are poor, you will hardly be healthy or manage to stay healthy for a long time. With that in mind, PhDs are more than useful in anaesthesiology and oral and maxillofacial surgery. 

Specialist medical expert in those areas with a sound educational background and PhDs is a job on the rise. Dentists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, pharmacists, pediatricians, gynecologists with PhDs are no less sought after and paid.

2. Law and Counselling

Lawyers with PhDs in new areas will be especially sought after in the future. Innovations and new technologies (e.g., drones or driverless cars) create new legal situations and ethical dilemmas that require regulations and laws. These so-called “grey zones” must be examined in detail by lawyers and government experts to regulate our increasingly complex present and lay the foundations for the future.

On the other hand, the market has seen a growing need for health care lawyers with PhDs. This type of job interprets new legislation for employers, representing the interests of the client and analyzing the development of public health and bioethics policies. The main employers in this area are pharmaceutical companies and are always looking for top PhDs in the subject.

“In today’s increasingly complex world, which operates on the principle of multi-layered interconnectedness and interdependence, we need PhDs who will be able to understand different processes”, says Elijah Smartz, a prominent writing expert at PapersOwl, who researches the employment market. “They also must elaborate large amounts of information and data, draw conclusions and develop behavioral strategies.” Experts in the field of international relations, political science, and law are needed by states, companies, non-governmental, and supranational organizations.

3. Human Resources

Psychology has become much more than a traditional stereotype about working in a laboratory or individual therapy in the modern world. It is a very diverse field and opens a lot of job options even right after bachelor studies and what to say for PhD jobs? Psychology experts who at the same time have strong artistic traits and/or ability and inclination towards natural sciences can be found in many occupations. You can build upon a PhD being a counselor in HR, providing career tips for students, or talent management to get the most suitable candidates for a given job.

As the demand for quality staff has grown strongly in the last few years, especially in the field of programming, engineering, and management, it is very logical that PhD experts in the field of human resources are especially valued. Human resources are increasingly replacing the term talent management. 

This is a sector that is required to have talented, capable, and insightful PhD professionals. They will ensure the safe and “efficient” supply of quality workforce in the best and most efficient way. Another task of a good talent manager is to create and develop quality pieces of training and programs. Ultimately, your PhD in this area can make existing employees even better and in step with the times and innovations. Well-developed interpersonal communication skills you possess are more than useful here.

4. Product Designers

Product design has evolved from stylistic work to field tasks that require solving and reconciling technological and social problems and factors. This development accelerated, even more, when companies began to actively look for designers for extremely complex projects ranging from “driverless cars” to the biology of the human body. As monotonous and automatic jobs are being switched to machines, creative jobs of designing new products will be a particularly important occupation.

As a job for PhDs, the design will continue to evolve into a hybrid industry that relies heavily on technology. Still, it will require creativity. Unlike human-centered design, future designers must combine their PhDs’ research, interaction, visual elements, and computer codes to solve 21st-century problems. The complex reality requires new PhD jobs to have synergies and synthesis of knowledge and skills from several areas. Therefore, such designers will be in demand in the labor market in all areas.

5. Senior Managers

Both business and management belong to the very top of the PhD fields. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost they consist of many sub-areas and offer many opportunities for employment or further training and specialization. Second, these areas belong to the sector of applied disciplines that focus on solving specific problems. They are using theories and quantitative methods to better position the company in the market. Some of the specific sub-areas covered by PhD studies are a business organization, project management, strategy development, entrepreneurship, markets, capital, and real estate. There are also laws and government regulations and state strategies of macro and micro-economy.

In line with the trend that began a decade ago, the management profession will continue to be at the top of the most sought after. This will especially relate to managers in specific areas such as energy, real estate, finance, banking, media, and entertainment. However, having great managerial skills will no longer be enough. A new type of senior manager with a PhD will be needed to adapt and successfully lead companies through lightning changes and shocks in the markets.

6. Architects and Engineers

Architecture is a combination of art and science. The architect must have spatial relationships and an understanding of the environment being focused on details. Creativity and analytical skills are developed as the student goes through different phases of PhD learning and development. Architecture means much more than just constructing and designing buildings. Oral and written communication and skills are necessary and important in this area. Moreover, it requires significant computer knowledge and skills. Also, new professions in the field of architecture are going in the direction of project management.

Demand for architects is projected to rise to unprecedented proportions over the years. 

These experts are like Masters of the Universe. They turn PhD dreams into reality and can do everything – from the transformation of entire cities to the way we all live. As our everyday life becomes more complicated, so do the problems we face as individuals and as a society. Therefore, the knowledge and skills of architects and engineers gathered through PhDs will be crucial. They need to come up with solutions to refugee crises, the resilience of buildings to tectonic disturbances, climate change, and the depletion of natural resources.

7. Data Analysts

This is the highest-paid occupation of the future according to the World Economic Forum’s research “Future of Jobs Report”. Data analysis, or data mining, is a process used by companies and government institutions to convert large amounts of raw data into useful information. The goal is to discover the so-called anomalies, on the one hand, and patterns of action, behavior, and thinking on the other. Improving sales and understanding consumer habits to develop effective business and marketing strategies is just one segment where data analysis PhDs can be used successfully. It can be used by both states and international organizations to understand processes at the global level such as conflicts, risk management, foreign policies, development of countries, and more. This occupation requires knowledge of mathematics, statistics, politics, psychology, economics, and can build upon PhDs in those areas.

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January 5, 2022

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