How to Be More Employable in Industry

How to Be More Employable in Industry

The 2-day private sector career workshop for scientists (Online and in-person)

How to Be More Employable - Workshop by David Giltner

Would you like to know how to be more employable in Industry? Most of us who complete a PhD in a science discipline will end up working outside of academia. What is working in the private sector is really like? How do you find these jobs? Do you feel confident that you can impress an industry hiring manager when you describe the very specialized research project you just spent years pursuing? And what kinds of jobs can a scientist get in a company anyway? This workshop helps you with these questions and many more about the exciting world that awaits scientists in the private sector!

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Course Content:

How is industry different than academia?
  • Addressing the cultural differences
  • What will my main challenges be in my industry job?
  • How can I be more employable in the private sector?
Can a scientist build a rewarding career in industry?
  • Career options for scientists in industry
  • Will I enjoy working in industry?
How to design your own career path in the private sector
  • What strengths make me valuable in industry?
  • What’s the best way to find a job?
Impressing an industry manager
  • How can I describe my PhD work so they see my value?
  • How can I sound more industry savvy in an interview?
Industry topics not taught in STEM
  • How are projects run in industry?
  • Finance - The language of business
  • Working with customers
Overcoming the job Search Challenges
  • I was perfect for that job! Why didn’t I hear back?
  • How do I answer those hard interview questions?
  • Can a shy person network effectively?

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Course Objective:

The lecture portions of the course are focused on conveying information about the industry working environment that is typically not well known to people working in an academic research environment - information about how companies operate and habits that bring success in this very different environment. These principles are supported with many stories from more than two decades of experience the trainer has gathered over his own career.

The course will enable participants to:

  • Understand the environment they will experience when entering an industry career.
  • Describe the success factors in s private sector career.
  • Understand how and where their unique strengths as a scientist make them particularly well suited for an industry job.
  • Know how to successfully start an industry career (get to know employers, score a job, work effectively in their job).
  • Figure out whether an industry career is a good option for them.



The course is highly interactive, mostly based on lectures, discussions and interactive exercises. We aim to bring together the skills and experiences the trainer has gathered in academic and industrial settings.

Among others, we´ll use the following methods:

  • Presentation phases with stories to illustrate key points, Interactive discussions
  • Worksheets for self-reflection
  • Case studies from the trainer as well as from the participants
  • Experience-oriented game-like activities to elaborate on general principles used in the work as junior group leader
  • Practically oriented activities and scenarios
  • Development of concepts on flipchart, and individual or small group work (exercises) of the participants and presentation in plenary.

These interactive sessions are adapted for an online format using Zoom breakout rooms and PDF worksheets plus collaborative online documents for the participants to record collaborative work.


David M. Giltner, PhD – Founder and President of TurningScience

David has spent more than twenty years developing cutting-edge photonics technologies into commercial products in the fields of optical communications, remote sensing, directed energy, and scientific instrumentation. In 2017 he started TurningScience to provide training and support for scientists of all disciplines seeking to enter the private sector as employees, collaborators, or entrepreneurs.

David is the author of the books Turning Science into Things People Need: Voices of Scientists Working in Industry and It’s a Game, not a Formula: How to Succeed as a Scientist Working in the Private Sector and is an internationally recognized speaker and mentor on the topics of technology commercialization, product development, and career design. David has a BS and PhD in physics and holds seven patents in the fields of laser spectroscopy and optical communications.

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The workshop How to be more employable in the private sector was developed with and is offered through their program as well