|Dec24-12, 10:15 AM||#35|
Master's Degrees: Are Physicists or Engineers more employable?
The three suggestions I've posted in the past for PhD holders seeking employment outside their field (or outside of science) are as follows:
1) Be positive. Say nothing negative about your degree or your future prospects. Negativity is a big strike against you.
2) Be firm about your commitment to change careers. ("I enjoyed my time in academia as a student. However, I will not be continuing my career there.")
3) Have a good reason for switching; bonus points if you educate them. For instance, I enjoyed research, but research can be a surprisingly small portion of a professor's time. I then might say that I enjoyed the field as a student, but there's a big difference between what I was doing in grad school and what I would be doing afterwards.
Someone I respect on another board once stated they didn't hire a newly minted astrophysics PhD for an actuarial job because they assumed they would be taking a big pay cut to switch careers. That's pure comedy, of course; starting pay was probably 50% higher than an astro postdoc.
If you can get into an interview and someone asks you why you're switching, that's your chance to knock down several huge barriers. The thing about PhD's is that many (but not all) of publicly perceived downsides to hiring a PhD are myth, but most of the positives are true.
|Dec24-12, 10:31 AM||#36|
On that note, one thing that I remember Twofish saying about finance, is that everyone with a PhD in science/engineering made it clear that the money was *a* motivating factor. In the movie Margin Call, the aerospace PhD is asked why he's working in a bank by the MD (I think so?), and he just said that it's more or less the same thing, except that the money is better.
With that in mind, if that astro PhD had openly said that an actuarial job would also mean a higher salary, then perhaps things would have worked differently?
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