PhDs are better prepared to contribute to the business world than MBA holders.

Peter Fiske Chief executive of a US technology company has counselled PhD holders not underestimate their potential. According to him “PhD holders should not underestimate their value to industry and the business sector” He continued “I have recruited PhDs for both technical and business positions. I have found across all scientific disciplines that those with doctoral degrees possess many of the skills that are in highest demand in today’s economy. If you have earned a PhD, you know, for example, how to analyse data. You also understand how to examine those results to gain insights. In some important ways, you are better prepared than MBA holders to make valuable contributions to the business world. You have learned resilience in the face of uncertainty and with limited resources.”

“Yet you and many other PhD graduates — along with the programmes that trained you — remain largely unaware of or uninterested in opportunities outside academia. In turn, only a few companies, such as the consulting firm whose recruiting poster I saw 20 years ago, have pre-emptively recognized the value that you and your colleagues can bring — and they are reaping a harvest of talent as a result.”

“You are doing yourself a disservice. As a doctoral degree-holder, you need to appreciate your degree programme for the transferable skills that it confers (see ‘Top transferable skills for business’), and recognize that those skills provide you with significant and immediate advantages over your business-school counterparts. You do not need a business degree or substantial extra training to secure satisfying and highly compensated work in the business sector.”

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