Presentation of Canadian findings
Panel on Skills and Career Opportunities for PhDs in Canada
Bursting the academic bubble // Au delà des murs de l’université: Panelists discuss career opportunities after PhD graduation, as well as the skills needed to succeed outside of academia.
“PhDs in the humanities, literature, languages, sociology, psychology or human resources have undeniably developed a solid understanding of the human being.”
The strength of PhDs in the humanities and social sciences is to have a systemic approach
“The strength of PhDs in the humanities and social sciences is to have a systems approach. In an R&D project, this allows us to stand back and take into account all aspects of a problem (market, capacity for acceptance by users…), instead of focusing on the technology”.
Other relevant references on transferable skills
Employers, if you want to have a competitive edge, PhDs can bring you creativity and innovation in all sectors.
With the benefits of their training, these graduates can:
- bring you creativity and innovation in all sectors
- help you in change management: set up change management processes in refractory contexts.
- help you to set up projects that would be more efficient in terms of progress.
They have the ability to have situational awareness and to rise to the occasion
(Laurence Breton-Kueny, Director of Human Resources, AFNOR Group)
- “Make connections, immediately think of something else that’s connected.”
- “Intellectual gymnastics that opens up the field.”
They have the ability of Building teams on new subjects: the basis of innovation
(Jean-François Minster, Scientific Director at Total)
- “A PhD is someone who has learned to work in an unknown field. And working in the unknown is absolutely essential to be a manager… the basis of innovation…”
They have the ability to analyze situations from a systemic perspective
(Karine Berthonnet Chief of staff, EDF Research & Development)
- “The strength of people with PhD in the Social Sciences is to take a systemic approach. In an R&D project, that means being able to gain perspective and consider all aspects of the problem (market, capacity for user acceptance, etc.)”
PhD training provides a common base of skills very useful for companies
(Ivan Behaghel, Innovation Consultant, Novalice)
- Ability to understand
- Enormous adaptability
- “There is no typical doctor’s profile. There is a common set of skills…”
Melin, G. et Janson, K. (2006). What skills and knowledge should a PhD have? Changing preconditions for PhD education and post doc work. Porland Press.
Your perception (as PhD ou recruiter) of the skills of PhDs can help these graduates as well as organizations and society to better benefit from their contributions.