UCL Researchers
  • Welcome

    The UCL Careers team use this Blog to share their ‘news and views’ about careers with you. You will find snippets about a whole range of career related issues, news from recruiters and links to interesting articles in the media.

    We hope you enjoy reading the Blog and will be inspired to tell us your views.

    If you want to suggest things that students and graduates might find helpful, please let us know – we want to hear from you.

    Karen Barnard – Head of UCL Careers

    UCL Careers is part of The Careers Group, University of London

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    What do PhD graduates do?

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 21 October 2013

    If you are thinking about possible career options after your PhD, and would like to know what kind of jobs are available for doctoral graduates, then check out Vitae’s labour market  information resources, which provide:

    • an analysis of the main employment sectors for doctoral graduates; including the roles doctoral graduates commonly occupy in these industries, an analysis of future skills needs, and opportunities in these sectors
    • profiles on some of the most important occupations for doctoral graduates, including numbers of doctoral graduates entering these jobs and their disciplinary backgrounds
    • advice on using labour market information to assist with career planning

    PhD graduate careers case studies     

    In addition to the labour market information, careers case studies can help to illustrate the wide range of career options available to you after graduation. You may also find that they provide useful advice, and give you a valuable insight into day to day life in different job roles.

    • UCL Careers was commissioned in 2010 to survey the career destinations of UCL research students who graduated between 2004 and 2008. 115 graduates were successfully interviewed. You can examine the results in the downloadable documents here (arranged by faculty). A summary of the overall findings are also available as a Powerpoint presentation
    • We also have a selection of great resources  to help you access information  covering topics from academic career planning to networking and job hunting
    • You can also check out Vitae’s comprehensive library of PhD careers case studies

    There is considerable variation between disciplines, between institutions and between different academic roles. It is a good idea to talk to academics and to those trying to secure academic posts in your field about their career stories so far, and assess how closely their experiences match your own situation. Don’t forget that you can also access support and guidance from UCL Careers.  Research students have access to a specialist Careers Consultant in twice weekly sets of appointments. These last 30 minutes and you can discuss any career related issue.  Find out more about Availability and Booking.

    PhD Life Science Careers – Why would IMSCG recruit PhDs and how can your PhD help you in a consultancy role

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 7 February 2012

    Here is the 2nd of our series of guest blogs by PhD holders who work at IMS Consulting Group. You will find more information about PhD life science careers and IMS Consulting Group in our  Careers in Clinical Research, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals  Forum for PhD/research students which will be held on 28th February 2012. Go to the Forum page on the Graduate School website for more details about this event.

    IMSCG’s business is management consulting to the life sciences sector. So it makes sense that the company has two main priorities when recruiting:  the competencies required to be a management consultant and a strong interest in, and perhaps some background knowledge of, the life sciences sector. PhDs, especially those from the natural sciences, are therefore an excellent group in which to find promising candidates with this combination of characteristics.

    The tendency for natural sciences PhDs to be interested in the life sciences sector is not surprising (although the emotive and pervasive nature of healthcare in our lives also attracts many PhDs from other disciplines). But what about the management consulting competencies?

    A major part of the core skills of a management consultant is bringing objectivity, structured thinking and analysis to a complex and unstructured question. Consultants are curious people who enjoy problem solving. PhDs similarly tend to be curious by nature, interested in solving problems and combining objectivity and analysis in one form or another to a specific issue.

    My PhD has definitely been a helpful starting point for these core management consulting skills. It gave me experience looking at a large and complex overall question and coming up with a way of approaching that question in individual steps. It gave me experience thinking about how to organize and present complex data and how to communicate the outputs of my research. And during my PhD, I took ownership for the outcomes of my own work, giving me a good sense of accountability.

    That isn’t to say that my academic-type problem solving and analytical skills were enough on their own for management consulting at IMSCG. The thinking in consulting is much more explicitly structured and analytical than in academia; I therefore had to sharpen up on these skills before the interviews. I also had to learn how to do it in a much faster-paced environment, more intensively within a team, and with much shorter time periods for producing and showing people outputs of the work.

    As my PhD was in the life sciences it also helped with understanding the more technical side of the life sciences sector. But if you don’t faint at the sight of words like atorvastatin or bevacizumab, then you can also learn that on the job!

    Joel Hooper, IMS Consulting