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TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING: EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE ACADEMIA Bruce Woodcock Careers and Employability Service Slides for this talk are available at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm.

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Presentation on theme: "TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING: EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE ACADEMIA Bruce Woodcock Careers and Employability Service Slides for this talk are available at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm."— Presentation transcript:

1 TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING: EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE ACADEMIA Bruce Woodcock Careers and Employability Service Slides for this talk are available at

2 Content  Is a PhD worthwhile?  Skills gained on a PhD  What do employers look for in postgraduates?  The difference between academic and business CVs  What do PhDs do after completion?  What jobs are there outside research?  The CES at the University of Kent and how it can help you  Guardian articles – Ivs, CVs, Cov lets, Postdoc jobs

3 Sutton Trust Report The proportion of people of working age in Britain with a postgraduate qualification has climbed rapidly: from 4% in 1996 to 11% in 2012 PhDs obtained in the UK ,500, ,000 (Source HESA) 72.9% of PhDs will obtain it within 7 years of starting but at London Met. Univ. only 12% will complete in 7 years! (Source HEFCE) The study found a postgraduate degree remained linked to higher earnings: worth on average £5,500 per year more than someone with only an undergraduate degree. Is a PhD worthwhile?

4 Careers in Research Online Survey 2013 “Significant credibility gap" between researchers' expectations and the likelihood of their forging long-term careers in higher education. A career in research was very competitive but "researchers do not all have a full awareness of quite how competitive [it is]". 65% of researchers had experience of collaborating with colleagues outside of the UK and with external organisations. Only 50% had experience of mentoring, teaching or writing a funding proposal. 50% of contract research staff believed they were not treated fairly compared with other types of staff. 2/3 contract researchers think they will get a research/teaching career, according to Vitae the number of researchers who DO achieve it is closer to 1/5. “ Only 19% of PhD holders are working in HE research within 3.5 years of completion “ (Vitae 2010) This lack of opportunities is true of other intellectually stimulating professions A lack of engagement with careers support at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels, either out of choice or because such support does not exist. Read the full story

5 What do postdoctoral recruiters say they are looking for? I look for a confident and able researcher who displays a passion for their subject area and who conveys a proactive attitude to developing their professional standing in the field. This might be through increased publications, grant applications, conference presentations, etc. In particular I am looking for evidence that the applicant has thought this through and not just telling me what I want to hear. So, what might the grant proposal be about, what might their next paper be on or which journal might it be published in? Detailed answers to these and evidence of having published already would give me confidence that they are serious contenders. (Senior Lecturer in Engineering)

6 What do Employers look for in Postgraduate applicants? Rank the following in order e.g. 1 for most important and 10 for least important:  Can be asked to undertake independent research  Good time management  Negotiation skills  Ability to listen to others  Ability to present ideas clearly (verbally & in writing)  Attention to detail & thoroughness  Ability to identify areas for change or improvement  Capable of learning new IT systems quickly  Can integrate quickly into team  Honesty & integrity

7 What do Employers look for in Postgraduate applicants? On appointment: 1.Honesty & integrity 2.Ability to listen to others 3.Can integrate quickly into team 4.Ability to present ideas clearly (verbally & in writing) 5.Good time management After one year: 1.Ability to identify areas for change or improvement 2.Can be asked to undertake independent research 3.Negotiation skills 4.Capable of learning new IT systems quickly 5.Attention to detail & thoroughness

8 Tips from employers to PhD candidates Convince the employer that you can translate your ideas into commercial reality and that the commercial world is not your second option because you can’t achieve a career in academia. Prove that you have researched the position carefully. (KPMG) Prove that you’ve given thought to the differences between the academic and corporate environment. (Welcome Trust) Demonstrate knowledge of the goals and values of the organisation you are applying to and try to prove initiative and innovation. (SKB) I turn down candidates who show a lack of commercial awareness. (McKinsey) Emphasise the more rounded individual rather than the researcher. Are you a self-starter? Do you have leadership qualities? Take any opportunities to develop yourself outwith academia. (Accenture) Don’t over-rely on academic achievement. Stress transferable skills such as teamworking, report writing and leadership. (SEPA) Gain teaching and coaching skills and try to give presentations at conferences. (KPMG) Candidates must have transferable skills and must be able to demonstrate them. (BMSP)

9 PhD Skills Sell these on your CV!  experience of working in partnership with industry or a non- academic organisation. experience of liaising with industrial partners and knowledge transfer activity  experience of teaching and mentoring undergraduates  high level numerical and analytical skills  experience of working with a diverse workforce and being involved In international activity and collaboration  experience of leading people and teams  the ability to secure research funding through persuasive writing  understanding of opportunities for commercialisation of their work and knowledge of IP issues  experience of communicating research and complex ideas to a wide variety of audiences including the general public.

10 Postgraduates Skills PhD researchers can usually:  understand and create knowledge at the forefront of their discipline  conceptualise, design and implement projects to generate new knowledge and understanding  analyse a problem and generate creative solutions to it, drawing on existing knowledge and the gathering of new knowledge  work independently and under their own initiative  plan and deliver a large piece of work independently and over a long time  Experience of cutting edge research skills and techniques. SELL THESE SKILLS IN YOUR CV, APPLICATION FORMS AND AT INTERVIEW!

11 What skills do PhD researchers have?

12 How does an academic CV differ from a business CV? Write down everything you think you should include in your CV if applying for a post as a postdoctoral researcher or university lecturer. How long should your CV be? Write down all the things that you would include in a CV for a non- academic post in, for example, a business environment. How long should your CV be?

13 Academic CV A PhD CV for research posts is longer than the normal 2 side CV. Include:  Synopsis of your PhD at the beginning or as an appendix;  Research Interests  Conferences attended (include presentations or poster displays)  Publications in chronological order, but if the most recent are not relevant use a subheading such as "Relevant publications". Other subheadings could include "Peer reviewed", "In Progress", "Conference Proceedings". A long list of publications could be in an appendix  Evidence of teaching/presenting skills: leading seminars or practicals.  Administration experience: sitting on committees plus any record in attracting funding  Research Methods and Scientific/Statistical techniques e.g. NMR, HPLC etc.  Awards and membership of professional bodies  Evidence of IT, time management, project management and report writing skills  For research posts in industry mention contact with industry such as placements  More than the usual two referees: At least one from your postgraduate research One from an employer or other person commenting on personal qualities outside academic performance Example PhD CV

14 Business CV  Two pages maximum  Targeted at job with examples of relevant skills  Less about research skills, conferences, publications  More about problem solving, time management, project management skills, creativity, initiative, contact with industry etc.  CVs differ by country e.g. a French resume includes a photo and has a hand written covering letter.

15 THE COVERING LETTER One side of A4 maximum First Paragraph  State the job you’re applying for.  Where you found out about it.  When you're available to start work (& end if it's a placement) Second Paragraph  Why your interested in that type of work  Why the company attracts you (if it's a small company say you prefer to work for a small friendly organisation!) Third Paragraph  Summarise your strengths and how they might be an advantage to the organisation.  Relate your skills to the job. Last Paragraph  Mention any dates that you won't be available for interview  Thank the employer and say you look forward to hearing from them soon.

16 How to sell yourself to new employers Translate your thesis summary into plain English: employers won’t be familiar with the arcane language used to produce a thesis so work on your elevator pitch. Avoid excessive jargon. Learn how to talk about your research in a succinct way. Only go into the specifics of how you did it if you are applying for a technical job. Understand your skill set. E.g. the skill of quickly reading literature to find the critical point, transfers to quick decision making on information. To identify your skill set check your attributes against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.Vitae Researcher Development Framework Know your audience. List the skills the employer is seeking and then map these against your own skill set Focus on what you can do for them. Focus on what you can do for the employer rather than what you want from them. Recruiting new people is resource heavy. Demonstrate your commitment to further learning. Continuous professional development is the ultimate transferable skill. If you can demonstrate how you grew your professional skill set (not just your academic skills) through a personal development plan as a researcher, you will present yourself as an excellent future employee. Show that you are seriously committed to continuously improving your knowledge, skills and ways of working.

17 Need to network/make speculative applications  Create a LinkedIn profile  Research Gate  Creative Jobhunting Useful Links  Work Abroad  Study Abroad Includes international rankings for universities  International Student Careers

18 Postgraduate Employment What jobs can you do with a PhD? Write down as many jobs you can think of that PhDs are likely to enter.

19 What do PhDs do?  Source: HESA DLHE Surveys)

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22 Employers recruiting researchers Ely Lilly EMB Consultancy LLP Eversheds Financial Services Authority HM Forces/The Army: HSBC Jaguar Land Rover JBA Consulting Kaplan Higher Education KPMG Medical Research Council Mewburn Ellis Mott MacDonald Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement North Somerset Council Onalytica Ltd Ordnance Survey Oxford PharmaGenesis Pfizer Pilkington Group Limited Procter & Gamble QinetiQ Rolls-Royce PLC Simon Mort Reports Ltd Space Northwest The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre The National Physical Laboratory The Work Foundation Thinktank Trust UBS Investment Bank Unilever Waymont Consulting Limited Accenture AstraZenica Baker Richards Consulting Bank of England Belzona Polymerics Limited BP Research & Technology Business Research Group (UK) Ltd Capita Hartshead CellAura Technologies Ltd Corus CRAC Credit Suisse Curtis+Cartwright Consulting Ltd Doosan Babcock Energy Ltd

23 Destinations of Kent PhD Students Career Help for Postgraduates and Contract Researchers Click on the “What do postgrads do?” tab to see destinations of Kent PhDs. Destinations of Kent grads and postgraduates 1999-present)

24 Bioscience PhD student experience survey (PRES) Overall rate of satisfaction is generally high supervision 84% satisfaction. The vast majority of students said their supervisor had the skills and knowledge to support their research and provided useful feedback research skills development 85% Research culture 64%. Brought down mainly by the lack of opportunities for students to discuss their work with others as well as the general research ambience of the department progress and assessment 78% professional development 76%, Career development: less than 30% of bioscience PhD students received advice and information on career options. Considering almost 50% of science postgraduates are likely to leave academia when they graduate (Royal Society 2010: The Scientific Century) a serious concern: may be one reason why some PhD students undertake a postdoctoral post; with little knowledge of ‘alternative careers’ they are more likely to choose a career more familiar to them.

25 Bioscience pages Science careers Bioscience

26 Choosing a career  Choosing a career web pages  I want to work in ….  Prospects Planner Powerful program to help choose a career.  Target Career Report https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers- reporthttps://targetjobs.co.uk/careers- report  Vitae UK organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff.www.vitae.ac.uk

27 Sources of Further Information  Careers Help for Postgraduates and Contract Researchers  Postgraduate Career Planning Guide  Your PhD… what next? (AGCAS)  Your Masters… what next? (AGCAS)  What do PhDs do?  Beyond the PhD  PhD Jobs Site  CES Postgraduate Destination Survey  Academia.edu platform for academics to share research papers  RCUK Careers in Research. 75 research career case studies on the RCUK Careers in Research website, covering many disciplines including humanities, maths, biology, social sciences and physics. Highlight the opportunities research skills can give, not only in academia but also in business, industry and commerce.RCUK Careers in Research

28 Telephone: Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9 to 5 including vacations Drop-in times (no appointment needed): to and 2 to 4 pm Help given for up to 3 years after graduation Weekly careers s every Monday

29 TRANSFERABLE SKILLS TRAINING: EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE ACADEMIA Careers and Employability Service Slides for this talk are available at

30 Career intentions of doctoral researchers 2012 Vitae published research in 2012 based on 4,500 researchers undertaking doctoral study in the UK. Charts their career trajectories into postgraduate research and also their future career aspirations and how these are shaped by their experiences. Download What do researchers want to do? The career intentions of doctoral researchers intentions-of-doctoral-graduates-Feb12.pdfWhat do researchers want to do? The career intentions of doctoral researchers intentions-of-doctoral-graduates-Feb12.pdf

31 Careers Employability Award on Moodle

32 Early career researchers Report: The Global State of Young Scientists by the Global Young Academy, on early career research scientists working in 12 countries who obtained a PhD up to 10 years ago Found long hours, job insecurity and lack of resources. Most interviewees did not hold a permanent position in academia. This insecurity drove them to work long hours and weekends to stand out. Early career researchers work an average of 55 hours a week. Common problems worldwide: having to build a laboratory from scratch, uncertainty over funding necessary to secure future positions, and lack of resources and research staff. Job insecurity was a key concern in Europe, where fixed-term positions are the norm for early career researchers: 83% of respondents. Despite this, two-thirds of respondents said that they felt hopeful about their career prospects. Researchers’ confidence in finding a permanent research position varied worldwide. Respondents in America thought their chances were 66%, whereas respondents based in Europe put chances at just 35%. Confidence in finding a permanent teaching position was only 39% in Europe. Scholars said that more support and mentoring during the early stages of their career was required, particularly at transition points such as starting a family. “In Europe in particular, the lack of mentoring was perceived as a barrier, leaving young scholars to their own devices in a fairly unstable higher education labour market, with only limited chances for job security. Research organisations “need to adapt to the realities of women and family issues”.

33 Careers in Research Online Survey 2013 Sought to find out more about opportunities for researchers to get involved in activities such as collaboration, knowledge exchange, supervision, teaching and mentoring. "significant credibility gap" between researchers' expectations and the likelihood of their forging long-term careers in higher education. A career in research was very competitive but "researchers do not all have a full awareness of quite how competitive [it is]". Read the full storyRead the full story Over 65% of researchers have had experience of collaborating with colleagues outside of the UK and with external organisations. Only around 50% had experience of mentoring, teaching or writing a funding proposal - although a 2013 survey shows that research publications still tend to override other research-related activities in the biosciences. Perceptions of fairness in the treatment of contract research staff compared with other types of staff, 50% of both males and females believed they were not treated fairly. This figure rose to 64% for researchers who had been on five or more contracts. Career ambitions of researchers: clear disparity between the aspirations vs realistic expectations of researchers. Although three quarters would like to have a research and/or teaching career in academia, only two-thirds believed this was likely to happen in reality. This lack of opportunities is true of other intellectually stimulating professions. 2/3 or ECRs believe they will actually achieve a research/teaching career, according to Vitae the number of researchers who DO achieve it is closer to 1/5. A lack of engagement with careers support at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels, either out of choice or because such support does not exist. Sarah Blackford students-and.htmlwww.biosciencecareers.org/2013/09/how-satisfied-are-doctoral- students-and.html

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35 Early career researchers The report, The Global State of Young Scientists published by the Global Young Academy, on early career research scientists working in 12 countries around the world who obtained a PhD up to 10 years ago and found similar stories of long hours, job insecurity and lack of resources. Most interviewees did not hold a permanent position in academia. This insecurity drove them to work long hours and at weekends in the hope that they would stand out. Early career researchers work for an average of 55 hours a week. Common problems around the world, such as having to build a laboratory from scratch, uncertainty over funding necessary to secure future positions, and a lack of resources and research staff. Only in Europe, where the authors note that fixed-term positions are the norm for early career researchers, was job insecurity a key concern, cited by more than 83 per cent of European respondents. But despite widespread job insecurity, two-thirds of respondents said that they felt “hopeful or somewhat hopeful about their career prospects”. Researchers’ confidence in finding a permanent research position varied worldwide. Respondents in Americas thought their chances were 66 per cent, whereas respondents based in Europe put their chances at just 35 per cent. Confidence in finding a permanent teaching position was only 39 per cent in Europe. Scholars said that more support and mentoring during the early stages of their career was required, particularly at transition points such as starting a family. “In Europe in particular, the lack of mentoring was perceived as a barrier, leaving young scholars to their own devices in a fairly unstable higher education labour market, with only limited chances for job security. Research organisations “need to adapt to the realities of women and family issues”.

36 PhD Destinations 2012 UK/EU (DLHE survey) 68% UK Work 15% Work Abroad 6% Unemployed

37 Top 7 Skills of Postgrads Recruiting researchers: survey of employer practice 2009 (CRAC):  data analysis  problem solving  drive & motivation  project management  interpersonal skills  leadership  commercial awareness Sell these skills in your cv, application forms and at interview!

38 What skills do PhD researchers have? Write down as many skills as you can that would make an employer recruit a PhD rather than a graduate.

39 Number doing research degrees has stayed the same  Large increase in numbers of graduates awarded higher degrees in the UK: 31,000 in 1990 to 182,000 in 2010  But number doing RESEARCH DEGREES has stayed the same at about 25,000 p.a. over the last few years.

40 Skills - from Psychology  Communication  Independent learning  Information technology  Numeracy (& Statistics)  Problem solving  Research methodology  Scientific methods  Teamwork  Use of quantitative and qualitative data

41 Where are researchers employed?  Universities  Research councils and institutes  Central/local government  NGOs  Social and market research  Public health laboratories  National Health Service  Business and industrial research

42 More PhDs than academic posts available Since 1982 in the USA, 800,000 PhDs were awarded in science and engineering, whereas only about 100,000 academic faculty positions were created. Source: Consider therefore also non-academic options: managing people, research in industry, analysing data etc.

43 Postgraduates’ Skills PhD study also develops the ability to:  Communicate complex ideas in both written and oral forms to a variety of audiences  Work in teams and collaborate with, and manage, senior colleagues  Network and build contacts  Understand their career goals and aspirations and how these may be realised  Interdisciplinary work. Does academe reward those who do it? A study, based on all people who earned PhDs in 2010, suggests the opposite. In the year after their doctorates, those who did interdisciplinary dissertations earned, on average, $1,700 less than those who completed dissertations in a single field. interdisciplinary-dissertations-earn-less#ixzz2jmnyGdHj A study, interdisciplinary-dissertations-earn-less#ixzz2jmnyGdHj


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