What are the Different PhD Jobs?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
People with a PhD often teach at colleges and universities.
People with a PhD often teach at colleges and universities.

The different PhD jobs are, in part, determined by major, but it can be said of most doctoral degrees that they give greater flexibility in finding work or increase the possibility of finding work. It would be nice if this degree always meant that people got paid more, but that’s not always the case and topics of the present economic climate include whether it is worth earning doctorates, especially for certain areas of study. The time they take to earn and the debt that some students will take on to pay for these degrees doesn't always translate to higher potential earnings. Nevertheless, those passionate in their subjects often pursue their careers to the terminal degree and have more jobs to choose from as a result.

It’s easy to think of some of the different PhD jobs that people get. University teachers almost always must possess a doctorate, and this may be usual hiring practice, or universities will only consider giving PhDs full tenure. Full tenure usually isn’t granted to teachers with a master’s degree except at community colleges, and even then, PhDs may be preferred for tenured work. Some people with doctorates do like working at community colleges, and there are high school teachers that also may possess the PhD.

Some teachers do more than teach. They continue to research; this is especially true in the sciences. A few university professors both teach and conduct research, and there are straight research jobs in a variety of subjects that don’t involve teaching. These might be for nonprofit or private agencies. For example, a person with a microbiology doctorate might work for a drug company and help to develop new medicines.

There are a number of PhDs who may or may not have university connections who are writers. Some people become so skilled in their area of expertise that they write bestsellers on finance, history, science, and biography or they write fiction. The terminal degree lends credibility to PhD writing and may be a source of some PhD jobs, and doctorates in areas like English could lead to successful work in editing, publishing, or reviewing.

Some doctoral degrees lead to curator, art historian, or library positions, and there are a number of PhD jobs that represent a practical application of a PhD education. Nurse practitioners possess PhDs and treat people who are ill. Clinical psychologists use their doctorates to practice psychotherapy or research, and forensic psychologists rely on their PhDs to investigate crimes, become expert witnesses, or work with the criminally mentally ill.

In truth, there are so many PhD jobs, listing all of them would be very difficult. People are best off researching job possibilities that result from the types of majors they’re considering, but in general, things like research, writing, or teaching are open in most fields. Hiring practices in university teaching are changing, and there is suggestion that it may be more difficult in the future to obtain full-time tenured university positions.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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    • People with a PhD often teach at colleges and universities.
      By: jura
      People with a PhD often teach at colleges and universities.