Academic Exit:
Move From Academia to Industry Without Studying

Get an industry job with skills you already have as a PhD:
no internship or bootcamp needed. 

Use this playbook as a guide to land an industry job
within 12 months. 


Land an Industry Job
Quickly With Your PhD

You can exit academia and find a job in industry right now, with the skills you already have. 

This may sound unimaginable. But I've coached more than 80 PhDs into industry jobs with a 100% placement rate. 

So I'm confident that you — yes you, the one with the niche PhD topic — can make a successful Academic Exit with the tools in this playbook. 

About me

I'm Tory Wobber. I have a PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology. I landed a data science job at Facebook with zero industry work experience. I worked in the Tech industry for 7 years before starting my own business.

Now, I'm a career coach who helps PhDs move into jobs outside of academia. I've helped more than 80 PhDs in fields ranging from Psychology to History land industry jobs.

I'm committed to a non-judgmental, informational, & inspirational approach that helps academics feel confident and optimistic about what's ahead.

Where I started

"You're not qualified to do anything other than be a professor."

Heard this before? Thought it yourself? 

One of my doctoral advisors said this to me when he heard I was looking to leave academia. Even though he was one of my fiercest advocates, it was truly foreign for him to think that my PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology could be of use outside the academy. 

After all, my PhD was focused on chimpanzee cognitive and endocrine development. How could that expertise be valuable anywhere outside of academia? 


What I was missing back then

My advisor's viewpoint was a common one among academics, particularly those at "research one" institutions.

The belief was that professors were training academic progeny to replace them. If you didn't go into academia, you were a failure or a deviant.

I didn't believe I was capable of getting an industry job with my PhD experience. I didn't believe that I had the permission to do so. 

But here's what's funny. The percentage of PhDs leaving academia is higher than the percentage staying behind (see the below graph for data in support of this claim). Moreover, the percentage of PhDs leaving academia is steadily increasing year over year. 

The data on post-PhD employment trends clearly counteract the belief I held. They concretely show that the "default" path for PhDs in the US is to pursue a job outside of academia (with similar trends in the UK). 

You might be're a PhD, after all

Your skepticism is reasonable and expected! Your PhD has trained you well in critical thinking.

You may think that the trends I shared above don't apply to you. 

You may think that your PhD topic is too niche and there's no way that your experience could translate in industry. 

You may think that you need to prove yourself more: to get an internship, take a course, or maybe even a more "applied" PhD. 

And I've been there. I doubted that I would be able to get a job outside of academia. 

Remember my PhD expertise? The chimpanzees?

But after making the leap out of academia into the Tech industry myself and placing more than 80 PhDs in industry jobs, I have the personal experience to complement the data above.

I now know that as a PhD-holder, you're qualified for an industry job right now, with the exact skills and experience you already have. 

What you already have and what you're missing

As a PhD, you already have skills that will be valuable and marketable in industry right now. Your doctoral research has trained you in areas that are of huge value outside of academia. Take my word for it right now if you don't believe it.

So you're not lacking in skills. Nor are you lacking in intellect. 

But you are lacking in skills and mindsets that will empower you to exit seamlessly, including:

  • Tools that will enable you to conduct a productive, straightforward job search 
  • A structure that will help you parse the job market outside of academia and prevent you from getting stuck
  • Mindsets that will allow you to maintain a sense of curiosity and not be overtaken by self-doubt

You'll find those tools, mindsets, and structures in my Academic Exit Playbook. 


The Academic Exit Playbook contains a comprehensive, PhD-vetted system that will empower you to design your path to exit academia and close on a strong industry job.

More than 160 PhDs have used this playbook to make their industry transition. 80 have worked with me as a coach to navigate the framework. Another 80 have used the Playbook by itself to secure an industry job. 

Land Your First Industry Job

Find a job in industry with the skills you already have as a PhD. All the tools you'll need are in the Academic Exit Playbook. 



One time

  • Make a confident choice to exit academia (or choose to stay intentionally)
  • Define what you want from work — and spell out what you no longer want to put up with 
  • Demystify job titles so that you can easily navigate the industry job market 
  • Craft a narrative to convey your PhD experience in industry-relevant jargon
  • Create a resume that catches the attention of industry hiring managers
  • Develop an interview mindset that puts you in a power position
  • Understand which next steps to pursue at each stage of your job search so that you don't get stuck

The Academic Exit Playbook will help you with:


Decide once and for all that it's OK to leave academia if you choose to. 


Stop spinning your wheels with job applications that go nowhere. Learn how to structure your search so that you can take steps that will yield concrete results, fast. 


Want a resume that opens doors? Want to prepare effectively for interviews? Ready to negotiate and close on a strong job offer? Use the checklists in the playbook to prepare for each of these steps so you encounter fewer surprises. 

Communication Strategies

Learn how to communicate your PhD experience in industry-relevant terms so that you don't get lost in an endless stream of cold applications on LinkedIn. 

Concrete next steps 

Don't lose momentum or get stuck. This playbook provides a step-by-step guide for your end-to-end job search: all the way from deciding it's OK to leave academia to landing effectively in your new post-ac job.  

Exit Academia Seamlessly

Use the structures, frameworks and tools in the Academic Exit Playbook to gain confidence and clarity for what's ahead.  


Here's what you'll get in the Academic Exit Playbook

  • 190 pages of frameworks, tools and guides based on what I've learned coaching 80 PhDs into industry jobs 
  • 15 self-guided exercises that will help you hone in on your target role and market your PhD experience in your resume and interviews
  • 8 self-reflection guides to get clear on your values and standards for work and the story you'll tell potential employers about your PhD experience
  • 6 steps you can take to ensure your resume will open doors with industry hiring managers 
  • 5 checklists to walk you through informational interviews, resume creation, interview prep, effective negotiation, and hitting the ground running in starting your new job 
  • 5 questions you can ask every potential employer to assess whether they meet your standards 
  • A step-by-step guide for informational interviews (how to request them, conduct them, and follow up from them)
  • A guide to the 3 stages of offer negotiation, along with steps on how to approach each one

Hiring a coach to walk through this with you 1:1 would cost more than $1000. 

You'll get all this for just $75.

What Other PhDs are Saying About Academic Exit: 

"My current challenge is targeting jobs with my skill set and getting past the initial online application stage. I want to work with you to strategize how to apply for jobs and negotiate offers."

— Olivia, PhD job-seeker

The Academic Exit Playbook is for:

  • PhDs who are on the fence about whether it is OK to exit academia
  • PhDs who have been told they are "not qualified" to do anything other than academic research 
  • PhDs who want to exit academia but are unsure what other jobs they are capable of
  • PhDs who believe they need more training before they are allowed to apply for an industry role
  • PhDs actively sending out industry job applications but not seeing results
  • PhDs who have no idea what goes into an industry-focused resume
  • PhDs in industry roles seeking to continue to optimize their person/job fit
  • You can be ABD, post-doc or faculty: if you're actively exploring options outside of academia, this content is for you
  • You can be from any PhD field: the tools I share apply across disciplines 
  • The insights and approaches here are tailored primarily towards PhDs seeking jobs in the United States but may apply elsewhere

The Academic Exit Playbook is not for:

  • PhDs who aren't open to considering options outside of academia: if you're squarely set on the tenure-track path, these tools and insights won't be as useful for you. 
  • Masters-holders or undergrads looking for industry jobs: this playbook will be less relevant for you because the content here is designed specifically for folks with doctoral-level training.

"It was great to feel some solidarity with fellow PhDs, get practical tips, and air assumptions we have about the jobs process." 

— Matt Samson, PhD
Director of Research, Kin

Leave toxicity in academia behind

As a PhD, you have skills, experience, intellect and passion that are sorely needed in jobs outside of academia. Use the tools in the Academic Exit Playbook to find a job where your unique set of strengths and contributions will be valued.  

"I was drowning in an ocean of resources that I'd found. I really needed direction and guidance. That's what brought me to you. I needed a push. The framework and the strategy that you helped me build was fundamental to that." 

— Narges, PhD job-seeker

My guarantee for you

I've put a lot of content into the Academic Exit Playbook because I want to empower PhDs to find jobs outside of academia. 

But you're a PhD, trained in critical thinking, so I understand if you're skeptical whether the Academic Exit Playbook will work for you. 

So I'm offering a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee to anyone who purchases the Academic Exit Playbook.

If you don't find the playbook helpful, send me an email and I'll refund you immediately. No questions asked, no hard feelings.

"Your insights and advice were really formative for me in narrowing down my career options and focusing on *viable* paths. I'm really excited about this new direction." 

— Elizabeth Wallace, PhD
Associate Director of Scientific Conference Programming, Alzheimer's Assocation

The Playbook


What's included

  • 190 pages of insights, frameworks, and tools
  • 15 self-guided exercises
  • 5 checklists for resumes, interview prep & more
  • Your complete guide for making an Academic Exit

The Playbook + a 1:1 Strategy Call with Tory


Most Popular

  • 190 pages of insights, frameworks, and tools
  • 15 self-guided exercises
  • 5 checklists for resumes, interview prep & more
  • A 45-minute, 1:1 strategy call with Tory 
  • Develop a strategy personalized to your exit 

Do your future self a favor: invest in these tools, mindsets, and structured next steps now.

  • Don't buy into the narrative that academia is the only place where meaningful, impactful, "free" work happens. It's just not true.  
  • Don't decide to leave academia and then move from one toxic workplace to another.
  • Don't spend months sending out half-hearted resumes and getting rejected. 
  • Don't buy into the belief that you'll just have to get a job via luck and "persistence" alone and that if you've sent out 100 resumes the right strategy is to send out another 100 resumes and hope for the best.
  • Don't marinate in doubt about yourself and your skills. 
  • Don't spend your energy writing angry tweets about the job market and how the whole system is rigged and the economy is doomed. 
  • Instead: take your time and energy and invest it here, with a system and approach that lands PhDs industry roles every week. Work smarter, not harder, and deliver results for your job search. 

I'm excited for what's ahead for you once you have these insights, approaches and tools in hand. I know there's so much that you have to offer the world with your unique set of strengths, passions, and interests. I'm looking forward for what you'll discover and create once you put this approach into practice for your career. 

See you on the other side!