Whether you know it or not, postgraduate school gives you a chance to develop new skills that go far beyond the research. Simply put, these transferable skills are skills that can be applied to a variety of jobs in business, government, industry, non-profit organizations. In the completive job market, they will be of great value. Employers highly appreciate the candidates who not simply have the superior intellectual capacity but also demonstrate a variety of transferable skills.
Check out 10 skills you’ll learn as a PhD student that will serve you well in any industry.
1. Public Speaking
Delivering papers at different conferences will be a part of your PhD degree. As you do so, you’ll develop your public speaking and presentation skills which will be relevant outside the academic community. You’ll be able to speak with confidence in your voice and present information in the most engaging for your audience way.
2. Project Management
As a PhD student, you are responsible for your individual project. You need to plan every step, design experiments to answer your question, manage a budget and meet deadlines. All these skills are inevitable in most industries as they show that you can manage everything on your own and there is nothing to worry about.
You are the “lead” for your project. You are responsible for your work and meeting important goals. Surely, you have a supervisor who guides the development of your ideas but you and only you make all important decisions. You don’t lead other people, you demonstrate leadership by controlling your project on your own.
Focusing on a specific topic, for a specific period of time, in order to achieve the specific goal. That’s exactly what you do while pursuing your PhD degree. It demonstrates your adaptability and flexibility – a brilliant transferable skill valued by all employers in any industry.
5. Dealing with Conflicts
One of the most important things about university is the opportunity to cooperate with different people. However, this often comes with arguments and conflicts – over the experiments you do, equipment you use, ownership of projects and so on. Being able to find a good solution of the most difficult situations is a perfect skill in any job.
6. Training and Mentoring
You will need to teach other students or research assistants in experimental techniques. You will also have interns in your lab and you’ll need to mentor them. Teaching, training and mentoring are the essential components of your PhD, so make sure to get the most of them. This skill set is among the most important ones in academic and other spheres.
7. Problem Solving
You need to be ready that your PhD experience will be full of problems. You might want to prove something but your experiments don’t work, reagents don’t work, you cannot find enough data to back up your ideas. You will face problems all the time. The ability to find the solutions characterizes you as an innovative and creative person – two traits prized by all companies.
It is impossible to get through your PhD and don’t cooperate with other people. You’ll need to communicate with other students, research assistants, professors. In result, you’ll have a chance to improve your networking skills and build useful connections. The ability to collaborate effectively will be essential throughout your life.
9. Time Management
You’ll learn how to manage your time effectively and cope with daily tasks on time. Often you’ll need to deal with several things at the same time and put priorities. This ability to dedicate time to the right things shows that you have impeccable time management skills and know how to spend every minute productively.
10. Understanding a Big Picture
Yes, the details are important. However, the ability to see the whole picture helps to solve many problems. As a PhD student, you’ll have a chance to get this valuable transferable skill.