Transferable Skills and the Pursuit of PhD

The entrepreneurship bug is alive and well today. We hear about starts as pragmatic as Uber to frivolous games that waste hours on end. It seems that today’s economic environment is ripe for innovative ideas and disruptive technology. It’s all very exciting to hear about technology licensed out of graduate labs and someone else’s uncle’s friend who’s app was purchased for millions of dollars. For the academic, however, it begs the question:

Does graduate school provide any transferable skills that would be valueable in the marketplace?

Of course we can endlessly debate the utility (or lack thereof) of an advanced degree but the reality is that there are more MS and PhDs graduating every year than academia can employ. There are numerous articles that spell doom and gloom for the budding scientist about to enter the job market. Theoretically, we scientists have it better than English majors, yet the prospects are still not so optimistic for STEM majors.  Whether we choose to explore a non-traditonal career, a career in industry or start our own venture, it’s clear that academia cannot absorb us all.

With this is mind, I came across an interesting site this week where the blogger helps wayward academics find their way to starting their own education/teaching/consulting business. It may be worthwhile to explore the option of starting your own venture, either as a source of additional income or full time. The Scholarpreneur took and interesting view of the academic background and gave it a validity that I rarely see. Learn more about the site and their offerings here.


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