I have been blogging about the qualifications of advanced degree holders and how they should be approaching a job search. However, job rejection is commonplace and it can be a very frustrating experience. We seem to be doing all the right things. We choose the job we want. We create a list of companies we want to work for. We tailor our resumes to each job opening. We network online and offline, but still no results. So, what is the problem?

I believe that finding a job is a matter of the unique positioning of skills, and proper addressing of weaknesses. We usually think about how we have the skills required for the job but not why a company should pick us vs another candidate. We focus on why they should hire us but not as much on why they shouldn’t. In short, we look at the job search from our perspectives while we should be thinking about the employer’s perspective.

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I have been blogging about the qualifications of advanced degree holders and how they should be approaching a job search. However, job rejection is commonplace and it can be a very frustrating experience. We seem to be doing all the right things. We choose the job we want. We create a list of companies we want to work for. We tailor our resumes to each job opening. We network online and offline, but still no results. So, what is the problem?

I believe that finding a job is a matter of the unique positioning of skills, and proper addressing of weaknesses. We usually think about how we have the skills required for the job but not why a company should pick us vs another candidate. We focus on why they should hire us but not as much on why they shouldn’t. In short, we look at the job search from our perspectives while we should be thinking about the employer’s perspective.

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Posted in job-hunting-system

Recently, I read a post on the Chronicle where the author had listed all the excuses she could come up with, to justify her decision not to pursue a fulfilling and rewarding career. The author claims that, “rational people have good reasons for staying in a system that has failed them”. I don’t aim to argue for or against an academic career, however, I hardly agree that staying in an unfulfilling job is logical. Change is always hard and scary. Not just for PhDs but for everyone. Was it an easy decision for the likes of Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard to pursue a dream? How about Noble Laureates, who developed counter-intuitive studies that others thought were stupid at the time? My personal favorite is the story of Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. He didn’t want to leave his stable job at HP to go and build the largest tech empire ever!

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Recently, I read a post on the Chronicle where the author had listed all the excuses she could come up with, to justify her decision not to pursue a fulfilling and rewarding career. The author claims that, “rational people have good reasons for staying in a system that has failed them”. I don’t aim to argue for or against an academic career, however, I hardly agree that staying in an unfulfilling job is logical. Change is always hard and scary. Not just for PhDs but for everyone. Was it an easy decision for the likes of Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard to pursue a dream? How about Noble Laureates, who developed counter-intuitive studies that others thought were stupid at the time? My personal favorite is the story of Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. He didn’t want to leave his stable job at HP to go and build the largest tech empire ever!

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Posted in job-hunting-system

Elon Musk is my real life super-hero. He knows a thing or two about solving extremely hard problems after founding and building companies in the hardest of industries. First he took on the financial industry by founding Paypal, then he went on to start a private rocket company to send humanity to Mars since NASA wasn’t about to do that at the time. Then he started Tesla to make electric cars that don’t have emission problem, and while he was at it, why not make it the safest car ever? Tesla self-driving cars are also around and would be available soon. Then he started Solar City to solve the problem of energy production using sunlight, and don’t even get me started on Hyperloop. Recently he started building a Giga factory to produce more lithium ion cells than all of the world’s combined output in 2013. A couple of months ago, he introduced Tesla powerwall which is basically a slick no fuss battery pack for our home or business so that we can become closer to independence from utility companies. I heard a while back that he has filed for building a giant network of satellites in space that would provide us with wireless internet all over the world!

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Elon Musk is my real life super-hero. He knows a thing or two about solving extremely hard problems after founding and building companies in the hardest of industries. First he took on the financial industry by founding Paypal, then he went on to start a private rocket company to send humanity to Mars since NASA wasn’t about to do that at the time. Then he started Tesla to make electric cars that don’t have emission problem, and while he was at it, why not make it the safest car ever? Tesla self-driving cars are also around and would be available soon. Then he started Solar City to solve the problem of energy production using sunlight, and don’t even get me started on Hyperloop. Recently he started building a Giga factory to produce more lithium ion cells than all of the world’s combined output in 2013. A couple of months ago, he introduced Tesla powerwall which is basically a slick no fuss battery pack for our home or business so that we can become closer to independence from utility companies. I heard a while back that he has filed for building a giant network of satellites in space that would provide us with wireless internet all over the world!

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Posted in PhD skills

One of the most exhilarating observations of physics and mathematics for me, comes from understanding the concept of nonlinearity. Putting the pretty shapes and figures generated by physical nonlinear systems aside, the concept of nonlinearity is actually a very simple and beautiful understanding; i.e. outputs don’t necessarily need to be proportionate to inputs. A famous example is the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

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One of the most exhilarating observations of physics and mathematics for me, comes from understanding the concept of nonlinearity. Putting the pretty shapes and figures generated by physical nonlinear systems aside, the concept of nonlinearity is actually a very simple and beautiful understanding; i.e. outputs don’t necessarily need to be proportionate to inputs. A famous example is the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

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Posted in PhD skills

A PhD has traditionally been the path to a career in academia. However, recent job trends have led to less than 1% placement rate of STEM PhD graduates in tenure positions. Although this is not the most encouraging trend, there might be a silver lining. With the growing demand of tech companies for highly skilled work force and the ample reports of unfilled tech jobs, PhD holders and companies can mutually benefit from these trends by keeping an open mind about the possibilities that can be created. The idea of industry jobs after PhD is becoming more popular with graduate students.

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A PhD has traditionally been the path to a career in academia. However, recent job trends have led to less than 1% placement rate of STEM PhD graduates in tenure positions. Although this is not the most encouraging trend, there might be a silver lining. With the growing demand of tech companies for highly skilled work force and the ample reports of unfilled tech jobs, PhD holders and companies can mutually benefit from these trends by keeping an open mind about the possibilities that can be created. The idea of industry jobs after PhD is becoming more popular with graduate students.

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Posted in PhD skills

After spending about 10 years in academia, I found the prospects of finding the job I was training for to be dismal. If you are a PhD student or graduate, you know what I am talking about. In fact a new study suggests only 0.45% of PhD graduates in STEM majors find a tenure position.

We know the pain! We are also PhD candidates and graduates who have gone through this. In fact opportunities are abundant and a lot of skills you have learned are transferable to many other areas. The only thing you need is the right information and tools in order to find the best career for yourself. So we founded GradCompass to help you quickly identify and train for your new career. Tired of the disconnect between grad school and the actual skills needed for a successful career? Sign up for our newsletter and we will send you awesome information and tools you need for finding a lucrative alternative career!

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After spending about 10 years in academia, I found the prospects of finding the job I was training for to be dismal. If you are a PhD student or graduate, you know what I am talking about. In fact a new study suggests only 0.45% of PhD graduates in STEM majors find a tenure position.

We know the pain! We are also PhD candidates and graduates who have gone through this. In fact opportunities are abundant and a lot of skills you have learned are transferable to many other areas. The only thing you need is the right information and tools in order to find the best career for yourself. So we founded GradCompass to help you quickly identify and train for your new career. Tired of the disconnect between grad school and the actual skills needed for a successful career? Sign up for our newsletter and we will send you awesome information and tools you need for finding a lucrative alternative career!

read more

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Posted in introduction

Only 0.45% of PhD graduates in STEM are offered tenures positions.

GradCompass helps you quickly identify and train for your new career  in tech in a short time.

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Only 0.45% of PhD graduates in STEM are offered tenures positions.

GradCompass helps you quickly identify and train for your new career  in tech in a short time.

Read more

Posted in introduction