Navigating Life Beyond Academia: Insights and Advice from the Leaving the Academy Research Project

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We’re thrilled to announce the completion of our Leaving the Academy research project, where we set out to gather invaluable insights from individuals who have transitioned out of academia. The responses we received from 209 folks with a Ph.D. who took part in our survey have exceeded our expectations. In this blog post, we invite you to explore the key findings and advice shared by these remarkable individuals.

  • Mindset Shift: One recurring theme in the responses was the importance of a mindset shift when contemplating leaving academia. Our respondents emphasized the need to embrace a positive perspective and reframe thinking to view the transition as a beneficial step forward. They encouraged proactivity and taking charge of the transition process.

  • Practical Strategies: The practical strategies shared by our participants proved to be invaluable resources for those considering a career transition. From exploring alternative paths to reframing their skills, they discovered various methods to navigate the shift successfully. Networking and informational interviews emerged as crucial tools for opening doors to new opportunities.

  • Realities of Transition: Our research shed light on the realities of leaving academia, addressing financial considerations, self-worth reflections, and the fundamental differences between academic and industry positions. The frank comments from those who have made the leap provided an authentic perspective on these aspects of the transition.

We’re excited to make our white paper available to everyone interested in gaining insights from those who have already left academia. It’s an opportunity to learn from their experiences, broaden your perspective, and discover new possibilities for your own journey. We encourage you to share this resource with anyone who might benefit from it.

Finally, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the Leaving the Academy research project. Your willingness to share your experiences and advice has created an invaluable resource for those contemplating a similar journey. We hope that by sharing this research, we can inspire and empower others to embrace the opportunities that await outside the academic realm.

Co-authors: Beth M. Duckles (co-lead), Borhane Blili-Hamelin (co-lead), Mrinmoyee Bhattacharya

Design by Borhane Blili-Hamelin

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