I’m revisiting a topic I posted about half a year ago: once you have a Ph.D., what are your job options beyond a faculty job or a research position?
The last post was more about what one could do with a science major or masters degree. It didn’t necessarily exclude non-standard things to do with a science Ph.D., but it wasn’t specifically aimed that direction.
Here, I want to take on directly the problem of what you do with that shiny Ph.D. (in science or any other field) if, despite all your efforts, you can’t land a faculty job (or can’t land one you can live with). And, I’d like to get answers from people who have actually dealt with this situation. I’m not looking for speculative alternative paths that occur to you, but things you have actually done (or have seen done).
In all honesty, I feel like I may have used up most of my luck with the universe landing a faculty job at an institution I love (because my colleagues are the absolute best) in a part of the world I love (even though affording it is a perpetual challenge). I have no clue what I would be doing if I hadn’t gotten a faculty job.
Aside from teaching and writing, I don’t have much in the way of marketable skills. And, given that I have mouths to feed besides my own, I needed to be able to actually make a decent salary. I’m assuming that the existence of said mouths would have prompted me to come up with some plan for gainful employment, but I’m not sure that crisis-mode planning would have helped me find meaningful employment (where “meaningful” = something I could feel generally good about doing, possibly even something that intersected with my interests).
I’m guessing I might have had to drop some of those degrees from my resume to find a job (since having to pay a Ph.D. “what she’s worth” might have made me a less attractive candidate to some prospective employers).
The bottom line is that I have very little first-hand knowledge about this kind of thing. Some of you reading, on the other hand, may know quite a lot about this, and it might benefit others who are reading if you could share what you know. Thanks in advance.