Bentivegna, V. et al
A recent grad student, who has asked to remain anonymous as to not influence their perspective chances at finding a job, has come to the unfortunate realization that having a PhD does not make them automatically employable.
“I was told during an interview last week that I was overqualified,” complained the student. “But in the next sentence, they said I didn’t have enough experience. How can it be both?”
Tragically, like many other prospective PhDs, the student thought that having a plethora of knowledge in a niche scientific area would be applicable outside academia.
“In today’s day and age, we are looking for candidates who can thrive in interdisciplinary teams,” Ms. Laurie Durham, Senior Recruiter at Biotech Intl., “not people who can recite the base pairs that code for the angiotensin-converting enzyme within one minute.”
“I can do that, but at this point, it’s basically just a party trick” confirmed the grad student. “When I started listing them off in my interview, the recruiter just looked at me in confusion.”
For other recent graduates concerned about running into the same problem, resume experts suggest adding “soft skills” to your resume. Being able to distinguish blobby lines and gather meaningful blot information, being able to turn hours of “data analysis” into doom scrolling, and being able to convince your supervisor that you need three more weeks to finish a powerpoint presentation are, in fact, very transferable to work life.