What is it about?

Many PhD graduates, especially those in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, struggle to find full-time tenured jobs in universities on completing their degrees. This paper reports on interviews with doctoral graduates that explore their motivations for starting a PhD, their experiences of academia, and their current employment outside of academia. Their stories show that there are excellent career opportunities for PhD graduates beyond traditional academic jobs.

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Why is it important?

Doctoral education is facing a crisis in what is regarded as an 'oversupply' of PhD graduates. This is particularly marked in the areas of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. However, these graduates are valuable employees in the 21st-century, where their high-level research skills are urgently needed in the knowledge economy.


Many PhD graduates are disappointed when they find there are few opportunities to have the academic career they originally imagined for themselves. This research is aimed at demonstrating that there are bright futures for them outside the academy, where their high-level research skills can be used in satisfying, fulfilling employment.

Dr Cally Guerin
Australian National University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Stories of moving on HASS PhD graduates’ motivations and career trajectories inside and beyond academia, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, March 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1474022219834448.
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