The SiN working group for employment of PhD’s outside of academia is dealing with the situation and perspective of the PhD’s that leave academia. During our academic education, students and PhD candidates see only the interior of academic institutions and interact with people that have spent their entire professional life within academia. Some people have worked outside of academia between their studies or gained experience during a practical semester, but this is rather the exception.
Within the working group our first aim is to investigate the expectations, support and problems PhD candidates and absolvents face when they want to leave academia. We want to get those insights through a survey we are preparing now and going to send out during March 2020. However, “classical employment” is only one career path to leave academia, entrepreneurship is another one with increasing significance nowadays. Therefore, our working group member Muhamad will carry out interviews with PhD’s who chose to become entrepreneurs and went through that career path successfully.
We also want to hear the opinions and perspectives of potential employers in order to learn about their expectations and experience. This is planned to be done after finishing the survey with the PhD’s in order to point out potential conflicts or misassumptions and will probably be a task for the working group of the next board. We hope the insights we get will enable us to give PhD candidates a realistic perspective of the work out of academia and the process to get there.