22 SES 03 B, PhD Careers and Employability
There has been a general increase in the supply of PhD graduates from European universities. This is promoted by EU agendas for higher education such as the Bologna process, with an objective of increasing investment in research and development (European Commission, 2015) and is following an international trend to secure the future supply of research talent for the knowledge economy (Enders and de Weert, 2004; Neumann and Tan, 2011).
This development is based on the premise that public and private firms will demand and hire PhDs as part of an increased orientation towards research and development. It also presupposes that the universities make sure that the PhDs achieve more general competences during their PhD study and are prepared for both university and non-university employment (Golovushkina and Milligan, 2013; Brown et al. 2003). Such considerations have been addressed by OECD stating that,
- “The formation and careers of researchers are important policy issues and training for transferable skills – skills that apply in a broad variety of work situations – is a challenge that attracts increasing policy interest. […] Researchers today need skills relating to communication, problem-solving, team-working and networking, and business and management know-how. These give them workplace competencies that are relevant for a broad job market, although the skills they need may vary in different sectors.” (OECD, 2012, p. 8)
It is also stated as an ambition by the EU to increase the number of PhDs to ensure the supply of highly qualified employees to the public as well as the private sector (European Commission, 2016. Thus, the increased supply has been accompanied by expectations that PhD graduates to an increasing extent find employment outside of the university sector.
In the years 2009 – 2015 there has been a general increase in the number of job advertisements requesting PhDs in the private sector (Ibid, p. 18). Some PhD graduates, from the humanities and social sciences, compared to other disciplines, are characterized by relatively low frequencies of employment in non-university sectors. This raises questions as to which extent there is a non-academic labour market for PhD graduates from all faculties; what makes the PhDs ‘choose’ their career paths, how do they use their PhD competences, and how are they considered useful on the labour market outside of academia. These questions will be addressed in this symposium.
Thus the symposium focuses on the issue of employability of PhD graduates outside academia and viewed from different research projects in Europe. It is based on paper contributions from three European countries, which all pay great attention to the employability of PhD graduates. The papers report from research on respectively Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Brown, P., A. Hesketh, and S. Williams (2003). “Employability in a Knowledge-driven Economy.” Journal of Education and Work, 16:2: 107–126.Enders and de Weert, 2004; Neumann, R., & Tan, K. K. (2011). From PhD to initial employment: the doctorate in a knowledge economy. Studies in Higher Education, 36(5), 601-614. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2011.594596. European Commission (2015). EU legislation in the European Research and Innovation Area? Policy Brief by the Research, Innovation, and Science Policy Experts (RISE) European Commission (2016). A new Skills Agenda for Europe. http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/2016_empl_005_skills_initiative_en.pdf Golovushkina, E. & Milligan, C. 2013. Employability development in the context of doctoral studies: systemic tensions and the views of key stakeholders. International Journal of Training and Development, 17 (3), 194-209. OECD (2012). Transferable Skills Training for Researchers: Supporting Career Development and Research, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org.zorac.aub.aau.dk/10.1787/9789264179721-en
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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