22 SES 15 B, Looking Ahead: Current Shifts in Trends, Practices and Preferences (Part I)
Symposium Part I, to be continued in 22 SES 16 B
Research on doctoral education and postdoctoral career paths has been evolving to combine analytical focuses involving doctoral education learning structures, the relationships set during the duration of the PhD, the relevance of environmental learning conditions, and the possible job venues upon completion of the degree (e.g, Belavy et al., 2020; Dericks et al., 2019; Bao and Kehm, 2018). This study follows this trend and understands doctoral candidates as agents that create and shape their preferences based on their evolving abilities and experiences during the PhD (Fox and Stephan, 2001). It also understands that previous educational and life experiences that may have imbued them with expectations concerning the PhD degree and possible career perspectives from the start (Horta, 2018). This presentation analytically summarizes the finds from several interviews made to doctoral candidates based at leading universities in Macau and Hong Kong, which are situated in the Pearl River greater bay area, perceived to have the potential to become the world’s future Silicon Valley. Preliminary findings from the interviews show that initial motivations to start a PhD remain strong despite different learning experiences, and for some students, the initial goal to start the PhD to become academics remains unchanged despite their ability increase in competencies that may afford them to work in non-academic settings. A preference for research-oriented jobs tend to be prevalent, and this is one of the key factors that makes a preference for academia to be desirable when compared to a career in other sectors of activity. The preference for academic jobs becomes stronger when associated to other two key factors: a preference for work autonomy, freedom, and flexibility, associated with a career that guarantees stability. It can be argued that the preferences of these students are informed by a large higher education system that is fast developing, still with universities having a relatively poor qualified academic staff, and continuously posting vacancies. However, based on existing literature, we argue that these rationales are more generalizable. Equally relevant, is that the interviewed students place careers and career preferences above any family or relationship considerations. This may be culturally and socially driven and more of a characteristic of East Asian societies.
Bao, Y. and Kehm, B.M. (2018) From product to process. The reform of doctoral education in Europe and China. Studies in Higher Education 43(3): 524-541. Belavy DL, Owen PJ, Livingston PM (2020) Do successful PhD outcomes reflect the research environment rather than academic ability? PLoS ONE 15(8): e0236327. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0236327 Dericks, G., Thomson, E., Roberts, M., and Phua, F. (2019) Determinants of PhD student satisfaction: the roles of supervisor, department, and peer qualities. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 44(7): 1053-1068. Fox, M.F. and Stephan, P.E. (2001) Careers of young scientists: preferences, prospects and realities by gender and field. Social Studies of Science 31(1): 109-122. Horta, H. (2018) Ph.D students’ self-perception of skills and career plans while in doctoral programs: are they associated? Asia Pacific Education Review 19: 211-228.
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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