Industry Careers for PhDs

You have a wide range of career options in numerous industries with a PhD. And it's common to change your plans as you get more experience and learn what's a good fit.

Get started with the information and tools below, and schedule an appointment to take advantage of our individualized career counseling and guidance for all MIT grad students. For networking events, workshops and panel talks, see our calendar.

Join the Graduate Career News listserv for email alerts about graduate career opportunities, events, and resources.

Career Tools for PhDs

Research and Data

  • GECD Earned Doctorates Survey: Learn more about MIT PhDs' plans for after graduation, how they found jobs, top industries and employers, and average salaries
  • MIT Alumni Advisors Hub: Research alumni career paths -- and network with fellow MIT PhDs -- using the MIT Alumni Association's database
  • LinkedIn Alumni Tool: Powerful data visualization of alumni industries, employers, locations and skills -- filter your way to your next informational interview!
  • Versatile PhD: an online community dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for PhDs. Research career paths, find job opportunities and network with other PhDs. For access to this and other resources we offer only for the MIT community, you'll have to login to our site using Touchstone.
  • Nature Corporate Publishing Index Rankings: A yearly index and ranking of corporate employers who publish. This is especially helpful if you want to still have a connection to publishing while working in industry. This resource could help you develop a target list of companies for employment or internships. The index also lists collaborators in the U.S. and in other countries within each company profile.

Self-Assessment and Development

We offer self-assessments for PhD students that help gain insight into your interests, personality, values, skills and other areas.

We also recommend you build an Individual Development Plan with MyIDP, "a unique, web-based career-planning tool tailored to meet the needs of PhD students and postdocs in the sciences." You can also check out career planning videos for the IDP. GECD also brings in speakers to address career development topics, including Peter Fiske and "Put Your Science to Work" (video).

Job Search

Wondering where to look for industry jobs? Try some of these options:

Resumes, CVs and Other Career Documents 

Most industry jobs require a resume, not an academic CV (curriculum vitae). Use the chart below to learn more about the difference between CVs and resumes.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) vs. Resumes

  Academia, Faculty Industry
Main Document for Experiences CV Resume
Employer Values in the Search Detail & thoroughness, pedagogy & philosophy, shared decision making Brevity, practicality, value added, efficiency; limited to 1-2 pages (2 for PhDs or for those with more experience)
Key Skills Research, publishing, teaching Varies based on position (example skills: analytical, interpersonal, teamwork
Additional Documents & Tools Teaching statement/philosophy, portfolio, LinkedIn Portfolio, LinkedIn used more widely