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This question is too broad, but I have a feeling it's a commonly asked one, so I'm going to try to answer it anyways.

To address (what used to be) your second question first: holding a PhD does not make a job candidate any more desirable for the vast majority of positions. Indeed, it can be a factor against the candidate, as they will be perceived as more expensive. For positions where a less-qualified candidate could also fill the role, being overqualified is rarely a good thing. Jobs that are specifically looking for a PhD will typically state that in the requirements. For example, "Masters required, PhD preferred" is a common one in certain parts of the banking sector. However, for entry-level positions (data entry, lower-level analyst roles, etc), you may be at a disadvantage.

Regarding your first question, though, you're being overly harsh on yourself. The process of earning a PhD is significant work experience; indeed, that's your main selling point when looking for your first job. Depending on what you did, you will have some or all of the following experience:

  • Identifying, clearly stating, and figuring out how to address a problem - this alone qualifies you to be a consultant at any large firm; this is all they do, all the time, for different clients
  • Project management
  • Advanced technical writing - your thesis, academic publications
  • Communication skills - working through the peer-review process
  • Public speaking - presenting at conferences
  • Experimental design - your research project
  • The art of researching - the simple knowledge of how to properly find articles, sources, etc
  • ...

Even better, you've been doing all that for four years. You should be selling every single one of those points as hard as you can when you move to industry.


EDIT: The above answer stands for the edited second question as well; as a graduate student, you will want to learn all of the above if you wish to enter the workforce. More specifically, though, almost industry positions seeking PhD candidates will apply to value the following three above most else:

  • Self-starter - shown in that you got your work done
  • Collaborative - demonstrated through successful collaborations with other researchers (successful = researched together, published together)
  • Good communication - demonstrated through publications, public speaking, conference presentations, teaching, etc.

During the PhD, aim to do those things, and during your job search, emphasize all those traits in your resume and during interviews.

This question is too broad, but I have a feeling it's a commonly asked one, so I'm going to try to answer it anyways.

To address your second question first: holding a PhD does not make a job candidate any more desirable for the vast majority of positions. Indeed, it can be a factor against the candidate, as they will be perceived as more expensive. For positions where a less-qualified candidate could also fill the role, being overqualified is rarely a good thing. Jobs that are specifically looking for a PhD will typically state that in the requirements. For example, "Masters required, PhD preferred" is a common one in certain parts of the banking sector. However, for entry-level positions (data entry, lower-level analyst roles, etc), you may be at a disadvantage.

Regarding your first question, though, you're being overly harsh on yourself. The process of earning a PhD is significant work experience; indeed, that's your main selling point when looking for your first job. Depending on what you did, you will have some or all of the following experience:

  • Identifying, clearly stating, and figuring out how to address a problem - this alone qualifies you to be a consultant at any large firm; this is all they do, all the time, for different clients
  • Project management
  • Advanced technical writing - your thesis, academic publications
  • Communication skills - working through the peer-review process
  • Public speaking - presenting at conferences
  • Experimental design - your research project
  • The art of researching - the simple knowledge of how to properly find articles, sources, etc
  • ...

Even better, you've been doing all that for four years. You should be selling every single one of those points as hard as you can when you move to industry.

This question is too broad, but I have a feeling it's a commonly asked one, so I'm going to try to answer it anyways.

To address (what used to be) your second question first: holding a PhD does not make a job candidate any more desirable for the vast majority of positions. Indeed, it can be a factor against the candidate, as they will be perceived as more expensive. For positions where a less-qualified candidate could also fill the role, being overqualified is rarely a good thing. Jobs that are specifically looking for a PhD will typically state that in the requirements. For example, "Masters required, PhD preferred" is a common one in certain parts of the banking sector. However, for entry-level positions (data entry, lower-level analyst roles, etc), you may be at a disadvantage.

Regarding your first question, though, you're being overly harsh on yourself. The process of earning a PhD is significant work experience; indeed, that's your main selling point when looking for your first job. Depending on what you did, you will have some or all of the following experience:

  • Identifying, clearly stating, and figuring out how to address a problem - this alone qualifies you to be a consultant at any large firm; this is all they do, all the time, for different clients
  • Project management
  • Advanced technical writing - your thesis, academic publications
  • Communication skills - working through the peer-review process
  • Public speaking - presenting at conferences
  • Experimental design - your research project
  • The art of researching - the simple knowledge of how to properly find articles, sources, etc
  • ...

Even better, you've been doing all that for four years. You should be selling every single one of those points as hard as you can when you move to industry.


EDIT: The above answer stands for the edited second question as well; as a graduate student, you will want to learn all of the above if you wish to enter the workforce. More specifically, though, almost industry positions seeking PhD candidates will apply to value the following three above most else:

  • Self-starter - shown in that you got your work done
  • Collaborative - demonstrated through successful collaborations with other researchers (successful = researched together, published together)
  • Good communication - demonstrated through publications, public speaking, conference presentations, teaching, etc.

During the PhD, aim to do those things, and during your job search, emphasize all those traits in your resume and during interviews.

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This question is too broad, but I have a feeling it's a commonly asked one, so I'm going to try to answer it anyways.

To address your second question first: holding a PhD does not make a job candidate any more desirable for the vast majority of positions. Indeed, it can be a factor against the candidate, as they will be perceived as more expensive. For positions where a less-qualified candidate could also fill the role, being overqualified is rarely a good thing. Jobs that are specifically looking for a PhD will typically state that in the requirements. For example, "Masters required, PhD preferred" is a common one in certain parts of the banking sector. However, for entry-level positions (data entry, lower-level analyst roles, etc), you may be at a disadvantage.

Regarding your first question, though, you're being overly harsh on yourself. The process of earning a PhD is significant work experience; indeed, that's your main selling point when looking for your first job. Depending on what you did, you will have some or all of the following experience:

  • Identifying, clearly stating, and figuring out how to address a problem - this alone qualifies you to be a consultant at any large firm; this is all they do, all the time, for different clients
  • Project management
  • Advanced technical writing - your thesis, academic publications
  • Communication skills - working through the peer-review process
  • Public speaking - presenting at conferences
  • Experimental design - your research project
  • The art of researching - the simple knowledge of how to properly find articles, sources, etc
  • ...

Even better, you've been doing all that for four years. You should be selling every single one of those points as hard as you can when you move to industry.