My back story is below if you care to read it, but my questions to you are: What was your experience after quitting your PhD program? Do employers look down on the fact that you got out of a PhD position without completing it? Did you continue to pursue employment in the same field that you were in graduate school for? My story... After a tumultuous personal battle, this year I decided to get out of my engineering (mech/aero) PhD program for various reasons. This decision took place at the end of September/beginning of October and during that time I immediately began to apply for a position in the private space industry (which it looks like I have a slim chance of breaking into) along with several commercial aircraft/space companies. I've sent out many resumes and I'm still waiting to hear back from a lot of companies. I had one potential job that I was turned down for. I think my resume is decent, because I never had a problem with grades in undergraduate studies, but I severely lack in industry-related job experience. I have worked in a completely unrelated engineering field (civil/transportation for 3 summer internships) because of my first job out of highschool, but I never had intentions of staying in civil transportation. I was also told at the beginning of my PhD program that I couldn't get a masters because I was going direct PhD (same college as undergrad), although I recently found out that I could possibly apply for a nonthesis masters. By the way, I'm not opposed to learning at all, I want real world experience (and the chance to actually make enough money to save some). Over this break I've even been studying optimal control theory because I'm rusty on controls, I recently took a structural optimization course, and I can pick up some programming (C for simplicity) skills along the way. Any advice you want to give is welcome. I've been a lurker on physicsforums off and on for probably 4-5 years now.