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What we do with a PhD

Alison HallThe research training and education completed in a GW PhD leads to occupations in various scientific career sectors, from academic posts to industry research to science communication and policy.

We recently reviewed two-decades of PhD earners from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences programs for career outcomes. Career sectors of our PhD graduates were broken into these categories based on the job titles and job organizations, and a few examples are shown:GW PhD Career Sectors

A look at career outcomes for those who earned PhDs between 1998-2004 suggests that our graduates most often take jobs in academia, industry/business, and government/nonprofit (and see how GW PhD outcomes have changed over the years). Our graduate outcomes are generally similar to national data. Overall, GW students completed their PhDs in 5.1-5.3 years, and many pursued postdoctoral training before settling into careers.

Career Outcomes for GW PhDs

One might speculate that GW career outcomes are affected by our unique location adjacent to the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, the Rockville technology corridor, and District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia academic institutions.

Data on PhD earner outcomes provide transparency and accountability for our programs, and allow us to

  • Identify alumni who might serve as career mentors for professional development
  • Assess program effectiveness for training grant applications and accreditation reports
  • Assist with identifying needs for skill building in specific careers

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