Options for PhD Students

The Careers Service provides career development support for Research Students and Early Career Researchers (research assistants and associates, post-docs and research fellows). We can support you to pursue an academic career path or into the many other career sectors open to you. The Vitae website will enable you to compare research and non-research options open to you after your doctorate.

Some PhD graduates go on to work in academia. They may begin by undertaking postdoctoral research and then a fellowship or lectureship. Before making a decision on whether an academic career path is right for you it is important to:

  • Understand the realities of academic careers
  • Make a realistic assessment of your potential to make it as an academic

An Academic Career includes a wide range of resources and video clips including: 'Is an academic career for you?' finding jobs, making applications and interviews from the University of Manchester.

Find out more about pursuing an academic career

PhD’s may also find work in academic related departments in academia; however, most PhD graduates will ultimately find work outside academia. Career options will depend on the area of research that the PhD was in – commercial research is an option for some, and many are able to use their specialist knowledge and research skills in areas of business and finance. Many companies do not have formal postgraduate level positions, so another possible option is to apply for graduate training schemes.  If successful, it’s likely that career progression will be faster for PhD’s than it is for graduates with first degrees.

In summary

PhDs offer a full package of skills and attributes.

PhD qualifications can take graduates beyond academia and research. PhD graduates contribute to all sectors and occupations.

Most PhD graduates will ultimately find work outside academia.

Entry points are much less visible for PhDs than for undergraduates.

  • GCU’s own latest vacancies for Academic Research & Enterprise and Professional Administrative Support opportunities.
  • The University’s Graduate School - find out how you can be supported during your research. The Graduate School helps to maintain a vibrant research culture within Glasgow Caledonian University. It provides support and skills training for research students, supervisors and researchers, and acts as a social and intellectual hub.