I graduated in Psychology quite a few years ago now, and for personal/mental-health related reasons, I didn't pursue a postdoctorate career. Instead, I focussed on trying to get better (partially successful) while also tutoring various Psych subjects (quite well, according to many students). I'm also enrolled in a Masters of Biostatistics.

I was pretty successful in my PhD. I already had one publication from my Honours year, and I had three more multi-experiment papers (two behavioural, one neuroimaging) published in good journals in the course of my PhD. My supervisor was very happy with the end result, and my thesis was accepted without much kerfuffle.

I'm finally in a position where I have a mindset I might charitably call 'prepared' for an academic career, and I'm wondering if I should even try. It's far from hopeless if I don't; I'm studying a Masters in a high-demand field and a career outside of academia is still possible even if I don't continue the Masters, but some opinions/answers from people within academia on my academic prospects in Psychology would be welcome.

1 Answer 1


To fully answer a career path question will be very long. There are several questions need to be clarified first:

  • what do you value most in a job? Money, location, growth opportunity in the job, work-life balance, company/university culture...
  • why do you study biostatistics after a Ph.D.? If you want to get better pay, definitely go to industry, simply because academia is non-for-profit.
  • Do you have some specific research topics you want to explores? If not, it is likely you are not ready for an academic career.

I had a similar experience. I got my Ph.D. 3 years ago and did a career change due to funding and personal reasons. I quite enjoy my current job because I am doing research in a company and don't need to worry about the funding issues.

  • In the interests of clarification: I value a job that feels consequential or helpful to others. I'd like to work in a field like public health or disease control ideally. I studied Biostats because the whole field is seriously in demand in my country, and it has such a broad set of applications that I could maintain a career easily. Not specific topics, no; I know there are areas I'm interested in, but I'd rather enter a certain field and derive my ambitions from the postdoc work I do, if possible.
    – Harv
    Mar 24, 2019 at 4:19
  • If you are looking for a postdoc, then the funding source or the PI is the most important factor you need to consider. If you find a good one, try it and see whether you enjoy it. Otherwise, choose non-academia job. Mar 24, 2019 at 5:00

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