The first UEA 'New Horizons - Careers Beyond Academia' event was held in September 2012 as part of the Business Skills Programme for Researchers. This unique opportunity was specifically organised to give UEA's postgraduate and postdoc researchers insight and information into a range of non-academic careers and realistically assess their options.
Speakers either had a PhD themselves and had chosen to work outside academia, or represented employers seeking PhD level skills.
The event provided opportunities to network with the speakers and ask questions. Speaker presentations covered topics such as:
- What skills employers are looking for.
- How to 'market' your PhD to employers.
- Career progression and possibilities within different industries and organisations.
- Personal insight into how having a PhD helped with non-academic careers.
- Transitioning between academic and non-academic employment.
- Recruitment processes.
- The realities of working outside academia.
The following sessions were run as part of New Horizons:
- Commercial Careers
- Media, Communications and Creative Careers
- Careers in the Public Sector
- Careers in Not for Profit Sectors
- Careers in Environment
- Careers in Bioscience
- Other Science Careers
- Careers in Chemistry and Pharmacology
- Careers in Health and Health Sciences
New Horizons was funded by UEA through the Annual Fund and funding for research staff training and development.
What you thought of New Horizons
Over 150 of you from across all UEA's faculties and institutions attended at least one session and we received extremely positive feedback from a mixture of postgraduate and post-doc researchers.
- Out of 48 respondents, 47 of you would like to see New Horizons and/or more careers events tailored to researchers in future.
- Key messages you took from New Horizons included; importance of starting early and career planning, there are many options outside academia, make connections and be aware of the skills you can offer employers.
- As a result of attending New Horizons many of you will take action including; guidance appointments with careers advisers, obtaining work experience, making new contacts, being bolder in job search, starting job search early and improving CVs.
- "Enjoyed it more than I thought I would, proved more useful than I thought it would be. A success!" - UEA HUM Research Student
- "It was well-organised and most speakers were excellent and very inspiring. It was especially interesting to hear from those who have a PhDand then left academia, and the paths their careers have followed" - UEA SCI Research Student
- "One of the best events that I have attended so far. Very informative" - UEA SSF
- "I thought it was a well organised event and well worth attending. I would attend again and I think that New Horizons should continue into the future" - UEA FOH Research Student.
- "Well organised and enjoyable sessions and got a lot out of it" - UEA SCI Research Staff
- "I don't know how often these events are held, but perhaps once a quarter might be useful?" - UEA FOH Research Staff
Some suggestions for changes and/or improvements were also received which will be taken into account when planning future careers events.