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1 Be prepared for the next step Jan Denys 12-09-2011 Louvain PhD’s and the labour market.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Be prepared for the next step Jan Denys 12-09-2011 Louvain PhD’s and the labour market."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Be prepared for the next step Jan Denys Louvain PhD’s and the labour market

2 2 Content of presentation Our old fashioned view on the labour market What does it mean for PhD’s? A view on labour market position of PhD’s The role of professional networks

3 3 Statements The way we organise our labour market is based on obsolete ideas and values. Workers (PhD’s included) don’t take advantage of increased freedom and increased possibilities on the labour market

4 4 “You’ll find people such as me, everywhere on the labour market, in this valley of tears” Source: Mia, Gorki We don’t like the labour market

5 5 Our vision on the labour market is ‘medieval’

6 6 “My intention was not to be pushed nor sponsored to find an appropriate job. I didn’t have the vaguest idea how to start. A bit clumsy, certainly. Try to find a position was so difficult, almost mission impossible, years ago.” Source: Humo 2006 Jef Lambrecht: his first steps on the labour market in the sixties

7 7 Employers have power, employees haven’t The role of workers is merely passive, they undergo the whims of employers and the labour market in general Employers are primary responsible of the fate of the workers There is a lack of mobility on the labour market Making a career in one single company is average meaning Intermediate structures are banned Medieval thinking

8 8 TraditionalModern Vision on the labour market ClosedOpen World perspectiveCompanyLabour market Power playUneven: in the advantage of the employer More equal and also changing ResponsibilityEmployerShared responsibility worker/employer EmotionNegative, threatPositive, opportunities Social protectionPermanent contract, notice periods, closing fee Mobility, employability 2 jobs SecurityJob securityWork security Basic characteristicsHomogeneousDiversity

9 9 Free to work Does the worker benefit from it? Reflecting about work and career developing is essential Career development

10 10 You are at the steering wheel of your own career Combining 2 specialties Combining 2 jobs Develop external benchmark Plan B The expiry date of jobs Adopt a long term perspective Modern careers

11 11 What does it mean for PhD’s? PHD’s are very highly skilled and educated (top) At first sight they should be free workers, steering their own career In reality they aren’t Most of them focus on a career in the academic world They have no idea about the external labour market They are not well prepared for the external labour market They have rather limited career skills Is that really a problem?

12 12 Career skills To be aware of one’s own identity Adaptability Network competences Understanding of own career Willingness to change

13 13 What does it mean for PhD’s(2) Number of PhD positions is worldwide unrelated to the number of direct job openings Production of PhDs has far outstripped demand for university lecturers and researchers PhD’s as cheap labour, even slave labour ‘Interests of universities and tenured academics are misaligned with those of PhD students’ Economist US figures: new PhD’s against only new professorships 40% increase in OECD countries between 1998 and 2006

14 14 Labour market outcomes Employment Unemployment Temporary contracts Pay Distribution by sector of employment

15 15 Employment rates of graduates

16 16 Unemployment rates of PhD’s by field of science

17 17 What about pay? Over all subjects a PHD commands only a 3% premium over a master’s degree But... only in medicine, other sciences and business and financial studies is it high enough to be worthwhile

18 18 Distribution of PhD’s by sector of employment

19 19 Distribution PhD’s in and out private sector PrivateNon private Sciences87,1%57,3% Medical6,8%14,7% Human sciences6,0%28,0%

20 20 Connection between PhD and job PrivateAcademic Close connection19%70% Moderate connection44%22% No connection37%8%

21 21 Connection between PhD and job MedicalSciences Close connection23,4%18,7% Moderate connection48,7%43,6% No connection27,8%37,7%

22 22 PhD’s and knowledge economy Influx of PhD’s in private sector is important strategic issue Especially when it comes to innovation Transfer of knowledge But transfer is often a problem Most PhD’s work as researchers In private sector only 10 or 15% of researchers hold a PhD Shorter job tenure in private sector Possibilities for career development (outside research function or managerial position)

23 23 Transfer is often a problem Many PhD’s find it tough to transfer their skills into the labour market ‘Writing lab reports, giving academic presentations and conducting six-month literature reviews can be surprisingly unhelpful in a world where technical knowledge has to be assimilated quickly and presented simply to a wide audience’ Economist, Reform of doctoral programs in order to facilitate entry on external labour market (soft skills: management, team work, communication)

24 24 A problem of recognition? HR-managers don’t recognize added value PhD’s No distinction between PhD’s and masters in recruitment Specific competences are crucial O & O managers do recognize added value concerning knowledge development (especially capacity to make synthesis of information of different disciplines Has to do with different cultures (short term/long term)

25 25 Knowledge, what knowledge? 12 layers of knowledge Economic and societal development Technological knowledge Strategic choices about core values & competences Strategic positioning of products & concepts Product design, integrated software Integrated values Brands, brand campaigns Combining, teams & networks, process design Combining, cooperation & learning culture Reputation within networks External logistics After sales services & feedback of customers Source: Jacobs, 1999

26 26 Outcomes Employment premium linked with PhD’s For medical PhD also pay premium Temporary contracts cause concerns (postdocs) 30% of PhD’s in private sector Transfer of knowledge is problem Recognition of added value of PhD’s

27 27 How to change? Level 1 Job, industry and sector Level 2 Competencies, motives and values Level 3 Basic but implicit assumptions about what is desirable and possible in our lives and in the world

28 28 Change of jobs means change of identity Exploring possible selves Asking whom might I become? What are the possibilities Lingering between identities Testing possibles shelves, both old and new Outcomes External change: changing careers Internal change: greater congruence Between who we are and what we do Grounding a deep change Updating priorities, assumptions and self-conceptions

29 29 Change of jobs means change of identity Aspects of Working IdentityStrategies for rewarding Identity Working identity is defined by what we do, the professional activities that engage us. Crafting experiments: trying out new activities and professional roles on a small scale before making a major commitment to a different path Working identity is defined by the company we keep, our working relationships and the professional groups to which we belong Working identity is defined by the formative events in our lives and the story that links who we have been and who we will become Shifting connections: developing contacts who can open doors to new worlds; finding role models and new peer groups to guide and benchmark our progress Making sense: finding or creating catalysts and triggers for change and using them as occasions to rework our story

30 30 The role of networks Pragmatically: leads, referrals, job information, entrees in organizations Educationally: transfer of expertise, knowledge, competences Emotionally: validation for a new self (is hard to get without shifts in social relationships)

31 31 The role of networks People who know us best are also the ones likely to hinder rather than help. They’ll preserve the old identity We need new peer groups, guiding figures and communities Serendipity is key word


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