Employment of doctorate holders in emerging sectors

Published on LinkedIn by Irena Lovrenčič Držanič Technical Associate (Institute of Media Communications - UM).

Employment of doctorate holders in emerging sectors

Emerging sectors, such as green energy supply, waste management and digital/IT services, have different skills needs than other sectors. The job market has demanded new skills, but studies often report skills mismatch and lack of interest for doctorate holders by companies.

In the near future, more than one million jobs will be created in emerging areas. An important percentage of those jobs will be left vacant unless we are able to address the issue. By offering online training for PhDs, we want to improve the level of skills that are most requested by the employers.

Skills most requested by employers are:

  • communication
  • teamwork
  • IT
  • organisation skills

Future economic and labour markets will be flexible and globalised, but also have demands for specialized outsourcing services and optimised production processes. These changes need to be addressed in the education system.

Doctorate holders are valued by employers mainly for their research skills, but also for scientific knowledge and leadership skills. Since a low percentage of the population has a PhD, they are not as well known amongst employers as others. In order for the labour market to adapt to economic and technological changes, private companies need to express their needs for future employees. Education institutions need to adapt their teaching programs according to the needed skills of future employees. One of the ways of addressing the skills mismatch is project OUTDOC that is aimed at increasing the employment of doctorate holders in emerging sectors.

Benefits of employing doctorate holders:

  • strong research skills
  • broad industry knowledge
  • leadership skills
  • technical skills
  • independence
  • self-confidence

The number of doctorate holders in the European Union has increased significantly in the last decade. The European institutions have encouraged doctorate studies with the intention of providing highly specialized individuals who would greatly enhance the labour market with their knowledge and skills. Nevertheless, the employment of doctorates has still not substantially increased. Amongst the reasons could be beforementioned skills mismatch and lack of interest for doctorate holders by companies.

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