- What do researchers do? Labour market information
- A summary of the doctoral labour market (August 2011)
A summary of the doctoral labour market (August 2011)
At present, around 5,000 new doctoral graduates a year enter the UK job market, and the very large majority do so into jobs which require at least graduate level education. The Vitae 'What do researchers do?' series demonstrate doctoral graduates have a diverse range of options open to them and are involved in all areas of the skilled economy.
The recent deep global economic recession had a profound effect on all areas of the employment market, and the labour market for doctoral graduates was no exception. The early unemployment rate for doctoral graduates from 2009/10, six months after graduating climbed to 4.5 per cent, from 4 per cent the previous year (the unemployment rate for undergraduates fell from 8.9 per cent to 8.5 per cent in the same period), suggesting that recovery has not yet begun in earnest. Some sectors of the economy were more affected than others. The labour market for physical science and some engineering doctoral graduates appears to be more difficult at the time of writing, with the unemployment rate of 2009/10 chemistry graduates having jumped from 6.4 per cent to 7.8 per cent amidst reduction in the R&D capacity of the pharmaceutical industry and cut backs at higher education institutions.
As the UK economy continues in a slow recovery, it is anticipated that the labour market for skilled doctoral graduates will also recover, but continuing pressure on public funding leave some uncertainty about prospects for those entering academia, although many places will still exist for doctoral graduates.
The finance industry, an important and potentially lucrative employer for many doctoral graduates and other business services sectors, such as advertising and consultancy however have recovered strongly from the recession and could well be areas of employment growth for ambitious doctoral graduates in the future as the industries continue to expand and look for talent. New areas of innovation, in marketing, advertising, communications technology and implementation, in novel technology and in media and networking, may make increasing demands of a highly skilled, flexible workforce used to innovation and new developments.
Comment on this page.