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Lecture 2 PhD Goals and Criteria
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates 

2.3. What are the possible careers after one obtains a PhD?

A PhD can open up a variety of career paths, depending on the field of study and the individual's interests and skills. Some of the most common career options for PhD holders include:

  1. Academia: Many PhDs go on to pursue careers in academia, teaching at universities and conducting research in their field of expertise.

  2. Research: PhDs with a background in research may work in government agencies, private research institutions, or non-profit organizations.

  3. Industry: Many PhDs opt to work in industry, using their expertise to solve problems and develop new products and technologies.

  4. Consulting: PhDs with strong analytical and problem-solving skills may choose to work in consulting, where they help organizations make informed decisions.

  5. Science writing or communication: PhDs with strong writing and communication skills may pursue careers as science writers or communicators, sharing complex scientific ideas with a wider audience. For example, Dr. Brian Cox is a successful Physics PhD in science writing and communication. He is a British physicist, television presenter, and author who is best known for his popular science books and television series, including "Wonders of the Universe" and "Forces of Nature". With his engaging and accessible approach to science communication, Dr. Cox has helped to bring complex scientific concepts to a wider audience, making physics more accessible and understandable to the general public. He is widely regarded as one of the most effective science communicators of his generation and has received numerous awards and honors for his work in this field.

  6. Entrepreneurship: PhDs with a strong entrepreneurial spirit may choose to start their own companies, bringing their expertise and innovative ideas to the market. One example is Dr. Nathan Myhrvold (PhD in Physics). He is a former chief technology officer at Microsoft and the founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, a global invention and patent company. With his background in physics and his experience in technology, Dr. Myhrvold has been successful in identifying and developing new and innovative technologies, and bringing them to market. He is known for his ability to see the potential in new ideas and to build successful companies around them, and has been recognized for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship. Through his work at Intellectual Ventures, he has helped to create new industries and has had a significant impact on the global economy.

  7. Policy: PhDs with an interest in policy may work in government agencies or non-profit organizations, where they can influence policy decisions and contribute to societal change. One example is Dr. Stephen Hawking. He was a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who was widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds of his generation. In addition to his groundbreaking research in physics and cosmology, Dr. Hawking was known for his advocacy for science and technology, and was a strong voice in shaping science policy. He was a strong advocate for funding for scientific research, and worked to ensure that science was given the support and resources it needed to make advances in our understanding of the universe. Through his writing, speaking engagements, and public appearances, Dr. Hawking made science accessible and understandable to a wider audience, and was a powerful voice for science in the policy-making arena. Another example is Dr. Neal Lane. He is a former science advisor to President Bill Clinton and former director of the National Science Foundation. With his background in physics, Dr. Lane has been successful in providing scientific expertise and guidance to policymakers on a wide range of issues, including research funding, energy policy, and the development of new technologies. He has been recognized for his contributions to the field of science policy and has had a significant impact on the direction of science and technology in the United States. Through his work in government and academia, Dr. Lane has been a strong advocate for science and has worked to ensure that science is given the support and resources it needs to make advances in our understanding of the world


These are just a few of the many career options available to a PhD, and the specific paths will vary depending on the individual's interests, skills, and goals.

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