Transferable Skills: PhD

An article by Pat Cryer explaining the many transferable skills students gain whilst studying for a PhD (1997), and an article from 2004 explaining why many PhDs desert academia.

Read more on my PhD at

Nicely summarised by the University of Michigan:

Analysis & Problem-Solving
  • Define a problem and identify possible causes
  • Comprehend large amounts of information
  • Form and defend independent conclusions
  • Design an experiment, plan, or model that defines a problem, tests potential resolutions and implements a solution
Interpersonal & Leadership Skills
  • Facilitate group discussions or conduct meetings
  • Motivate others to complete projects (group or individual)
  • Respond appropriately to positive or negative feedback
  • Effectively mentor subordinates and/or peers
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Teach skills or concepts to others
  • Navigate complex bureaucratic environments
Project Management & Organization
  • Manage a project or projects from beginning to end
  • Identify goals and/or tasks to be accomplished and a realistic timeline for completion
  • Prioritize tasks while anticipating potential problems
  • Maintain flexibility in the face of changing circumstances
Research & Information Management
  • Identify sources of information applicable to a given problem
  • Understand and synthesize large quantities of data
  • Design and analyze surveys
  • Develop organizing principles to effectively sort and evaluate data
Self-Management & Work Habits
  • Work effectively under pressure and to meet deadlines
  • Comprehend new material and subject matter quickly
  • Work effectively with limited supervision
Written & Oral Communication
  • Prepare concise and logically-written materials
  • Organize and communicate ideas effectively in oral presentations to small and large groups
  • Write at all levels — brief abstract to book-length manuscript
  • Debate issues in a collegial manner and participate in group discussions
  • Use logical argument to persuade others
  • Explain complex or difficult concepts in basic terms and language
  • Write effective grant proposals

By admin

Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst  (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.

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