After the Ph.D. (in Molecular Sci), I decided to move to the industry job.

When I am writing job application selection criteria essays (this is a must thingy in Australia), How do I articulate clearly I want to move from academia (after Science Ph.D.) to industry and work for that employer, and I have experiences in their selection criteria?

I found people suspicious of a Ph.D. unless the position was with an academic institution. “If you don’t go into Higher Education, there’s something wrong with you.” attitude. and sometimes they think PhDs are overqualified, and also PhDs have only worked inside a university and won’t fit in.

So, How can I address these issues in job application selection criteria essays?

Does anyone have experience in this area?

Thank you in advance.

  • So you want to just work on the factory floor or for a large research department?
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 9, 2020 at 6:31
  • 1
    I would expect that the student services department at your university has resources to help graduates find jobs and that would include PhD students. I'm sure you're not the first PhD student to look to move into industry. They're going to be much more familiar with the Australia-specific selection criteria essay and they're much more likely to know how best to navigate it. Nov 9, 2020 at 12:35
  • 1
    "job application selection criteria essays (this is a must thingy in Australia" Never heard of it. You may have just stumbled on to some oddball companies.
    – Fattie
    Nov 9, 2020 at 13:08
  • What is this essay thing?
    – guest
    Nov 9, 2020 at 13:24
  • @guest Yes, I don't think any other country asks these essays except Australia. Before the interview, they select candidates just based on these essays. jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/uploads/… .seek.com.au/career-advice/article/…
    – Dendrobium
    Nov 29, 2020 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


Transitioning from academia to industry isn't easy but can certainly be done. Your main pronblem is that you are competing with people that only have a Master's degree but already have 3-5 years of industry experience

  1. Network, network, network. You probably have attended conference, wrote and reviewed papers, particiapted in forums and discussion boards, etc. There should have been some industry people as well and these contacts can be extremely valuable in getting connections and learning about life in industry. If play this right, you may not even need to write essays.
  2. Make sure your motivations are clear: why did you do the Ph.D. and why do you want to work in industry.
  3. Describe how your Ph.D. will help you meet the needs of the employer and the specific requirements of the position. Abilility for work scientifically and independently, deep technical knowlegde, ability to quickly sift through the state of the art etc. Make sure you have something valuable to bring to the party.
  4. Talk to what many people assume are "weaknesses" of academic culture: lax with schedules and deliverables, not results oriented, working the problem that they have a solution for instead of working the problem that needs solving, being somewhat coddled and protected from the real world.
  5. See point 1

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