Career Pathways and Decisions of PhD-Students and PhD-Holders

Workshop at the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)

Much is known about pathways into and through higher education as well as the labour market careers of higher education graduates. Less attention has been paid to the careers of doctoral students and doctorate holders. Highly skilled workers – especially PhD-holders – are an important factor for economic development and innovation. It is thus not surprising that the demand for employees with a PhD is quite high – also outside the academic labour market. A considerable number of doctoral candidates intend to leave the academic system. And there are several fields of study where a PhD meanwhile is the standard qualification level.

Academic and non-academic careers of doctorate holders and the determinants of the career decisions of academics are the research focus of several DZHW projects. Our aim is to bring young researchers within this field of research together and stimulate the exchange between them on academic and non-academic career trajectories. For this purpose, the DZHW will host a workshop in Hannover on December 5th 2019 which gives young researchers the opportunity to present and discuss their present and future research.

Of particular interest are papers focusing on the career objectives of PhD-students and/or PhD-holders, the professional careers of PhD-holders, processes taking place during the PhD (including drop-out), decisions before, during and after the PhD. Contributions may, for example, address the following questions:

  • Why do graduates take up a PhD?
  • Under which contextual conditions do students take a PhD?
  • What patterns show up during the PhD?
  • Who thinks about dropping out during the PhD or who drops out – and why?
  • Who wants to stay in academia and why?
  • To what extend do PhD-holders benefit from their PhD?
  • Are there any correlations between the experiences during the time of PhD and the time afterwards?

In addition to the focus topic we are also interested in contributions that deal with the situation of PhD-students or PhD-holders in general.

Workshop Team

Dr. Gesche Brandt, Dr. Kolja Briedis, Carola Teichmann, Susanne de Vogel

Further Information (Link)