Career opportunities for phd students outside academia
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Career Development and Employment Service. Career opportunities for PhD students outside academia. Department of Student Services. Career Development and Employment Service. Learning outcomes. By the end of the session you will:

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Career opportunities for PhD students outside academia

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Career opportunities for phd students outside academia

Career Development and Employment Service

Career opportunities for PhD students outside academia

Department of Student Services


Learning outcomes

Career Development and Employment Service

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session you will:

Have reflected on how your PhD experience can positively contribute to your employability

Understand how employers might perceive doctoral students

Be aware of sources of information on a range of career options for PhD holders

Department of Student Services


Skills exercise

Career Development and Employment Service

Skills exercise:

In pairs, identify the range of skills you feel you have gained or developed through PhD study.

Think of examples of roles or activities which could be used to provide evidence of these to an employer.

Department of Student Services


The uk research councils perspective

Career Development and Employment Service

The UK Research Councils’ perspective

The research councils have produced a joint document outlining the skills they would expect research students to develop. These fall into 7 broad areas:

Research skills and techniques

Research environment (an understanding of ethical and professional issues)

Research management

Personal effectiveness (eg initiative, flexibility, self reliance)

Communication skills

Networking & team work

Career management

Department of Student Services


Uk research councils skills statement

Career Development and Employment Service

UK Research Councils’ skills statement

For more details and ideas to add to your “skills list” refer to:

http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/cmsweb/downloads/rcuk/researchcareers/jsstrainingrequirements.pdf

Department of Student Services


Specialist knowledge

Career Development and Employment Service

Specialist knowledge

In addition to your skills you will have developed knowledge of your specialist subject area

If you are applying for a post directly related to this area your knowledge will also be a valuable asset.

Alternatively if you are planning a change of career direction, your challenge is to present your study in a positive way, to demonstrate your relevant skills and your motivation for your chosen career path

Department of Student Services


What employers say

Career Development and Employment Service

What employers say

A recent survey on employers’ views on the recruitment of

researchers* showed that:

73% would welcome more applications from doctoral

graduates

31% actively target doctoral graduates and offer incentives such as higher starting salaries.

22% had no particular interest in doctoral graduates (and many of these had no experience of this student group)

*”Recruiting Researchers: Survey of Employer Practice 2009” – published by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd

Department of Student Services


What employers say1

Career Development and Employment Service

What employers say

These statistics suggest that many employers are happy to consider applications from PhD holders, but they are not specifically targeting them.

*“Doctorates can be helpful but not something we look for specifically in a candidate”

*“ Although having a PhD is not an essential requirement for an employee in our organisation it is a definite asset and is viewed very positively by the firm”

*”Recruiting Researchers: Survey of Employer Practice 2009” – published by the Careers Research

and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd

Department of Student Services


What employers say2

Career Development and Employment Service

What employers say

This means that it is appropriate to apply for vacancies which do not list a research degree as one of the requirements, obviously providing you have the other skills/experience needed.

In these cases it is essential to articulate your relevant knowledge, skills and motivation clearly within the application process

Department of Student Services


What employers say3

Career Development and Employment Service

What employers say

Those sectors which most commonly target PhD holders are:

Science and pharmaceuticals

Energy and utilities

Engineering and manufacturing

Banking and finance

These are also the sectors most likely to offer an enhanced salary (in banking & finance, the average starting salary is quoted as being around £50,000).

Department of Student Services


What do employers value in phd holders

Career Development and Employment Service

What do employers value in PhD holders?

Another survey recently published by the CIHE (Council for Industry & Higher Education) asked employers what they particularly valued in applicants with doctorates. Of those who actively seek PhD students almost 90% indicated that they value

*subject-specific specialist knowledge

*research/technical skills

*analytical thinking/problem solving skills

Source: “Talent Fishing. What Businesses Want from Postgraduates” CIHE, March 2010

Department of Student Services


What do employers value in phd holders1

Career Development and Employment Service

What do employers value in PhD holders?

“The number of postgraduates hired each year is relatively small and in primarily specialist engineering and production teams that require very specific knowledge where a Masters or PhD would be required”

Senior Manager, Energy

Source: “Talent Fishing. What Businesses Want from Postgraduates” CIHE, March 2010

Department of Student Services


But realism is also important

Career Development and Employment Service

But realism is also important

Although many employers undoubtedly value what you can potentially bring to their organisation, others express reservations about the value of a PhD in the workplace.

In the CIHE survey, for example, over 80% of respondents had concerns about:

lack of commercial awareness

limited work experience

unrealistic expectations

Department of Student Services


But realism is also important1

Career Development and Employment Service

But realism is also important

Also for some employers the specialist academic focus was seen as a disadvantage rather than a selling point

“PhDs are too unworldly and interested too much in their own pet research”

(Senior business leader in engineering)

“PhDs are often too narrow and over-focused – the step-over from an academic environment to a commercial one is a tough one”

(Senior business leader in technology)

Department of Student Services


Your response to these concerns

Career Development and Employment Service

Your response to these concerns?

Do you think these concerns have any validity?

What action can you take to make sure that potential employers do not see you as “unworldly” or “over focused”?

Department of Student Services


Progression of phd students

Career Development and Employment Service

Progression of PhD students

The Careers Research & Advisory Centre publication “What do Researchers do?” provides data on the destinations of doctoral graduates completing their studies in 2007. It shows that:

81% of UK-domiciled PhD graduates entered the workplace

3.1% were unemployed six months after graduating (this compares favourably with 5.5% for degree holders and 3.7% for Masters graduates)

Department of Student Services


Sectors which phd holders entered

Career Development and Employment Service

Sectors which PhD holders entered

Of those entering work there was an almost equal split between those remaining in the education sector and those moving to other sectors

Other main sectors include:

Finance, business & IT (10% of total entering work)

Health & social work (17%)

Manufacturing (14%)

Public Administration (5%)

Department of Student Services


Roles entered by phd holders

Career Development and Employment Service

Roles entered by PhD holders

The main roles identified by the survey include

Scientific research, analysis & development

Health professionals

Commercial, industrial & public sector management

Business and financial professionals

Engineering professionals

Department of Student Services


For more specific examples

Career Development and Employment Service

For more specific examples..

Information on case studies and job profiles can be found on:

www.vitae.co.uk for the publication “What do researchers do? Career profiles of doctoral graduates”

www.beyondthephd.co.uk A resource for arts and humanities researchers, career profiles and relevant articles

www.careerinscience.co.uk Includes “Career stories” and information on scientific pathways

Department of Student Services


Summary

Career Development and Employment Service

Summary

Many employers value the subject specific knowledge and skills that you offer, but remember that these alone will not guarantee success in the job market.

Early planning is advisable. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and consider how you can address any skills gaps

Work experience is invaluable. This will allow you to demonstrate commercial awareness in addition to more general skills often sought by employers, eg team working, communication

Department of Student Services


Summary1

Career Development and Employment Service

Summary

Apply your research skills to gathering information about potential employers. Identify their requirements and find out about their recruitment practices.

When making applications always remember that the reader may not have specialist knowledge. Think through how best to articulate what you can offer using language which is simple and concise.

Always target your applications so that you focus on your key selling points for that particular post

Department of Student Services


Further information

Career Development and Employment Service

Further Information

www.vitae.ac.uk

A comprehensive careers website for research students. Covers career opportunities, employment statistics, case studies and links to useful resources

www.phdjobs.com

A specialist jobs site

www.prospects.ac.uk

A general careers resource for graduates and postgraduates

Department of Student Services


Career development employment service cdes

Career Development and Employment Service

Career Development & Employment Service (CDES)

This service has a presence at both City and North campuses and offers guidance and support to all students and to graduates for up to 3 years after they leave. This includes:

The opportunity for individual discussion on areas such as career planning and job/work experience search

Workshops on a variety of job search topics

Information on careers events and activities

For more details on the services offered and on how and where to access them please refer to the website:

https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/careers/

Department of Student Services


Career development employment service cdes1

Career Development and Employment Service

Career Development & Employment Service (CDES)

The university Employment Service provides access to vacancy information for full time and part-time opportunities, vacation work and internships.

For details on how to register go to:

https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/careers/the-employment-service/home.cfm

CDES Contact information:

North Campus: 1st Floor, Tower Building, Tel: 0207 133 2094

City Campus: 8 Goulston Street, Tel: 0207 320 2380

email: [email protected]

Department of Student Services


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