Happy Halloween (if you partake of the festivities) and November is right around the corner!
This month I would like to talk about what I think about the job search once one has obtained their Ph.D. A lot of people are at various stages of the dissertation process or have completed it. Most but not all have a goal to become a tenured professor for that is what academia has deemed to be the crème de le crème or “Holy Grail” of academic achievement. Depending on one’s particular discipline this may or may not be an option for a multitude of reasons. A lot of you are already adjunct professors and in the pipeline at your institution but for the online doctoral student that is not so much the case if your “home” institution is online.
Since I am was not a traditional doctoral student I did not have the traditional outlook or aspirations of most. I currently work in higher education administration at a major private university and if I was to “cross” over to the academic side the shield would come up (some do not like online degrees). Again, this was not my goal to become a tenured professor. What I am saying is that one should look at other options for academia is being flooded with people with doctorates and there are not enough faculty positions to go around. So many students have not worked outside of the non-academic setting, and do not know how to work in the corporate/non-academic world, it is a different beast but tamable. Therefore, navigating the non-academic job search is very challenging to say the least.
In this day and age one has to be multi-talented when it comes to work experience. In the corporate setting you must have transferable skills that will fit the needs of the organization. I have been working in higher education administration for 16 years and made a point of learning new skills, changing departments in order to do so. I had business skill before coming to the university so that helped me to move around. Now that I have obtained my doctorate I am leaning more towards becoming a director. If I decide to leave academia and return to the corporate setting I still have the skills to do so.
Now that I am done taking classes (finally) the only way to learn new things is to, yes, take a class. I have access to MOOCS, Lynda, etc. for free therefore, I will take a few classes to learn new things. As I stated before, I was not the traditional student and do not want the traditional career path but I still need to learn more within my discipline. My doctoral studies/research had nothing to do with my day job, totally unrelated. I am grooming myself for the new career that I want. I guess the bottom line is to determine what you want to do once you leave the Cyber Walls/Ivy Tower of school. If your degree is to help you to advance within your current place of employment then proceed accordingly. If you do not know what your career objective is then you need to get busy and decide quickly. If you fail to plan you plan to fail!! TTFN