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Career patterns and competences of PhDs in science and engineering in the knowledge economy: The case of graduates from a UK research-based university


  • Lee, Hsing-fen
  • Miozzo, Marcela
  • Laredo, Philippe


Based on data collected through a complex survey of science and engineering PhD graduates from a UK research-based university, this paper examines the different types of careers and to what extent different types of competences acquired from doctoral education are regarded as valuable in the different career types. The results show that employment outside the conventional technical occupations is the main destination for the survey respondents. This career type is not only successful at retaining its members, but is also the destination of the other career types. Moreover, different types of competences from doctoral education are regarded as relatively more valuable in different career types: knowledge directly tied to subject areas is regarded as more valuable in academia/public research; both knowledge directly tied to subject areas (but more general type of knowledge rather than specialist knowledge in PhD topics) and the more general and transferable skills are regarded as valuable in technical positions in manufacturing; and the general and transferable skills are regarded as more valuable in employment outside the conventional technical occupations. In absolute terms, general analytical skills and problem solving capability acquired from doctoral education are perceived as valuable in all three career types.

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  • Lee, Hsing-fen & Miozzo, Marcela & Laredo, Philippe, 2010. "Career patterns and competences of PhDs in science and engineering in the knowledge economy: The case of graduates from a UK research-based university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 869-881, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:7:p:869-881

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Russell Thomson & Paul Jensen, 2013. "The Effects of Government Subsidies on Business R&D Employment: Evidence From Oecd Countries," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(2), pages 281-310, June.
    2. Agustí Segarra & Mercedes Teruel & Miquel Angel Bove, 2014. "A territorial approach to R&D subsidies: Empirical evidence for Catalonian firms," Working Papers XREAP2014-07, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2014.
    3. Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta, 2015. "Was it worth it? An empirical analysis of over-education among PhD recipients in Italy," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(3), pages 222-238, March.
    4. Herrera, Liliana & Nieto, Mariano, 2016. "PhD careers in Spanish industry: Job determinants in manufacturing versus non-manufacturing firms," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 113(PB), pages 341-351.
    5. Antonio Di Paolo & Ferran Mañé, 2014. "“Are we wasting our talent? Overqualification and overskilling among PhD graduates”," IREA Working Papers 201426, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2014.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1462-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Benito, Mónica & Romera, Rosario, 2013. "How to boost the PHD labour market? : facts from the PHD system side," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws132824, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    8. Hsing-fen Lee & Marcela Miozzo, 2015. "How does working on university–industry collaborative projects affect science and engineering doctorates’ careers? Evidence from a UK research-based university," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 293-317, April.


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