Researchers trained at universities find it very difficult to start a post-academic career in the industry. After many years in the university world, working on their PhD thesis and after one or more postdoc positions less than 10% of university students will make an academic career, with even less achieving a full professorship.
Furthermore, early career academics are not trained for a career in industry. As a result, there are more PhD students, postdocs and researchers on the market with similar academic CV profiles looking for their first job outside the university. Many academically trained researchers feel frustrated when they realize that the world outside academia is not what they expected. They feel misunderstood and their self-confidence decreases during the job hunting process. Therefore, many researchers prefer to remain at universities as postdocs, since this is the career pathway they are familiar and comfortable with instead of taking step out into the unknown.
Academically trained professionals must learn what they can contribute to industry, as well as how to present and market their skills and competences.
Examples of skills that academically trained researchers need to develop are
- to design an industrial CV/a CV adapted to industry (involving hard, soft and transferable skill training)
- to develop on-line presence (branding) using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, Youtube, WordPress etc.
- to understand the importance of networking (Hidden Jobs)
- to achieve a business-mind-set
- to learn a share and team managememt attitude (entrepreneurial thinking), and
- to evelop self-leadership by understanding who you are with respect to soft skills, drive & motivation, leadership style and communication.