How to use 'What Do PhDs Do?'
Questions that 'What Do PhDs Do?' can help with
- What is the annual talent pool of UK PhDs - how many doctoral graduates are there, and what have they studied?
- What do PhD graduates do first, after completing their degrees?
- What can PhDs offer the labour market?
- What do PhD graduates perceive are the benefits of their research training?
Where do the figures come from?
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) annually collates national first destination information on higher degree graduates. The information for this report was collected through a questionnaire sent out in January 2004 to all UK and EU domiciled students who graduated in the previous year. The results of this ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ (DLHE) survey represent a snapshot of the employment status and types of work of graduates on 1st January 2004.
Introduced in 2004, the DLHE questionnaire replaced the First Destination Survey (FDS). It includes new categories, asks new questions (including length of contract) and, unlike FDS, was sent to graduates who had studied part-time for doctorates, giving us a greater bank of destination information.
‘What Do PhDs Do?’ is based on the DLHE data collected for UK and EU domiciled PhD graduates (1). The DLHE does not survey non-EU domiciled PhD graduates, who constituted 30% of those gaining PhDs from UK universities in 2003.
Submissions of doctoral theses and viva examinations occur throughout the calendar year. Therefore the resulting snap shot of ‘first destinations’ may record the situation of PhD graduates anything up to 18 months after the actual completion of their degrees. Nevertheless, the median graduation time for the respondents surveyed is around six months, and by taking the survey at a fixed date, we ensure a consistent start point from which to view the data.
The guide also pulls together all major labour market information and longitudinal surveys relating to PhD graduates and presents viewpoints and messages from key organisations and individuals. The UK GRAD Programme has a long term commitment to promote the value of UK PhDs and this guide is supplemented by a website containing further information, additional profiles and, in future, reviews of new labour market reports and developments.