Think you might not have what it takes to succeed in the real world? Think again. Doctoral programs prepare you to become subject matter experts, but they also train you to be working professionals, even if they do poorly at advertising the fact. In fact, grad school imbues all PhDs with the ability to:

  • Make and deliver presentations
  • Synthesize new solutions to solve complex problems
  • Generate new ideas that differ from those of the competition
  • Make sense of large quantities of (sometimes competing or conflicting) information
  • Analyze data, qualitatively and/or quantitatively
  • Explain complex problems to audiences of non-experts
  • Break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable challenges
  • Edit and critique written work
  • Gather data and information
  • Write clear, concise prose
  • Communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences
  • Sell yourself and your ideas in person and on paper
  • Manage large, multi-year projects
  • Complete projects on time and within budget
  • Build relationships with other professionals in the field

The fact that none of these skills are specific to any one industry works to your advantage, since all employers look for applicants with these hard-to-find abilities. It’ll be up to you to sell your abilities in your cover letters, resumes, and interviews so that employers recognize that you are much more than a subject matter expert.