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Top 5 reasons – why you should do a PhD within industry

Thu, 30 January, 2020

Let’s start by reminding ourselves what a PhD is: it is a postgraduate doctoral degree, awarded to students who complete an original thesis offering a significant new contribution to knowledge in their subject.  PhD qualifications are available in all subjects and are normally the highest level of academic degree a person can achieve.  In order to undertake a PhD you need to have completed a degree first.  Once a student has been awarded their PhD, they can then add the title ‘Doctor’ (of Philosophy) in front of their name.

TWI has partnered with top universities worldwide and key industry sponsors to deliver high quality tuition and industrial experience to graduates who wish to undertake a PhD.  There is a range of different subjects available, offering the opportunity to be involved in research for collaborative projects and R&D as well as projects undertaken on behalf of international industrial clients.  TWI’s PhD programmes are delivered through NSIRC and students will spend the majority of their time at TWI, gaining a unique insight into industry and the practical skills they need to develop their careers.

But why would you choose to do a PhD within industry?  To help clarify your thinking, here are 5 top reasons why undertaking a PhD that is closely linked to industry is considered a good move.

  1. Better employment prospects than with a degree alone. Work experience in the industry you are interested in will give you that vital edge over other job applicants you are up against.  Most people who have completed a PhD within industry secure future employment.  Since 2012, all NSIRC graduates have gone on to work within the field of structural integrity within one year of completing their research.
  2. Salaries levels can be higher if you hold a PhD. You are offering prospective employers the winning combination of relevant industry experience gained over a substantial period of time, and the ambition and personal application to achieve a higher level qualification.
  3. Making a significant contribution to your field. NSIRC PhDs offer the unique opportunity to undertake proprietary, funded research that no one has explored before.  After successful completion of your PhD, you will be able to publish your PhD research in the form of journal articles, present content from it at conferences, and parts of PhD theses are often used in books about ongoing and/or collaborative research that is being conducted.
  4. Deepening your interests. If you have already made the decision to focus on a particular area within your preferred discipline, a PhD within industry will give you experience in a real-world, operational workplace environment where you can collaborate with, and learn from, professional experts who are already doing the type of job you aspire to.
  5. Acquiring sought after skills that will help you in your future career as well as your personal life. These include the abilities to think critically, identify and solve complex problems, find the right answers and make correct decisions.  Life and work can be complicated so these are key life skills you will develop to equip you for the future.

NSIRC PhDs are funded with the cost of tuition fees being covered and an annual stipend.  To find out more about embarking on a PhD within industry, please visit the NSIRC website.  Alternatively, please email to

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