Young doctors are popular recruits

A national study follows up the careers of recent doctoral graduates.

Haapakorpi A recent nationwide study on the early careers of doctoral degree holders and the significance of a doctoral degree on the job market charted the job descriptions and recruitment of young doctors. The study also focused on the advantages of having a doctorate, both from the employee’s and the employer’s perspective.

The employment opportunities for recent doctoral graduates are good and they are mainly satisfied with their position on the job market. For most, the completion of the doctorate meant better pay, more demanding tasks and more responsibility.

“Except in the field of research, the doctorate did not, however, bring any noticeable advantage over other degrees,” says Arja Haapakorpi, senior researcher who coordinated the study.

In companies, doctors were recruited to research and development projects, in particular. “The private sector will need an increasing number of experts,” says Haapakorpi. “What is also in demand is doctors’ capacity to serve as a link between the company and the university."

Erja Heikkinen, Counsellor of Education from the Ministry of Education, and Ossi Tuomi, Director for Strategic Planning and Development at the University of Helsinki, both stressed the importance of new doctoral graduates’ own initiative on the job market.

“The number of doctoral degree holders continues to grow. At the same time, job opportunities in the private sector are improving. It is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Education or the university to organise employment for each doctor,” Heikkinen points out.

The study followed the careers of doctors who graduated from nine Finnish universities from 2004–2005. The full report is available in Finnish on the website of Aarresaari academic career services,

Text and photo: Johanna Metsämäki

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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