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Doctoral futures: are PhD candidates ready to work?


Young, S and Crawford, J and Kelder, J-A, Doctoral futures: are PhD candidates ready to work?, Teaching Matters 2019, 26 November 2019, Hobart, Tasmania (2019) [Conference Extract]

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Contemporary doctoral students face new and unique challenges compared to their predecessors (Crawford & Probert, 2017). Doctoral programs are no longer designed for direct entry into academia (Cuthbert & Molla, 2015), with more PhD candidates graduating in Australia each year than there are available employment places (Beasy, Emery, & Crawford, 2019). Globally, there are more diverse PhD programs being developed, such as national internships in industry (Jones & Warnock, 2015).

This presentation provides an overview of a quantitative survey of 222 doctoral candidates at the University of Tasmania. The results indicate that most doctoral students intended to work in academia and were generally well prepared for such a pathway. Those students who intended to seek work outside of academia were generally the worst prepared for their future career, with an identified skills gap (Molla & Cuthbert, 2015). Compounding these findings, a surplus of candidates were planning to seek academic employment. These findings exemplify the challenge of employability preparedness for non-academically inclined doctoral students, and the importance of highlighting the benefits of liaising with industry during doctoral candidature (Jackson & Michelson, 2014). The opportunity this presentation highlights is to challenge the landscape for learning and teaching within the doctoral setting, with a greater focus on setting reasonable expectations between candidates and their supervisors. The practical implication of our findings is that doctoral training programs will benefit from stronger industry engagement and a willingness to adapt traditional programs for a diverse group of learners.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:mental health, psychological wellbeing, mental wellbeing, postgraduate, doctoral, candidate, postgraduate experience, career
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Young, S (Dr Sarah Young)
UTAS Author:Crawford, J (Dr Joseph Crawford)
UTAS Author:Kelder, J-A (Dr Jo-Anne Kelder)
ID Code:136178
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-12-05
Last Modified:2021-07-19
Downloads:18 View Download Statistics

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