- What do researchers do? Labour market information
- Discipline information
- Physical sciences and engineering
Physical sciences and engineering
Labour market information for physical sciences and engineering doctoral graduates (August 2011)
The recession has particularly affected physical scientists, especially engineers, as the serious downturn in the construction industry and weakness in engineering recruitment elsewhere has resulted in significant deterioration in the labour market. Doctoral graduates in this discipline have been less affected than their counterparts at lower levels, and although unemployment has increased, there have not been a reduction in the proportion of graduates entering R&D or engineering. There is some concern about a sharp increase in the unemployment rate of doctoral graduates in chemistry through 2010, but this may be temporary and linked to high profile announcements of significant R&D cutbacks, whilst recruitment into the finance industry has returned to pre-recession levels. Also of interest is a modest, but potentially significant upturn in recruitment of this group of graduates into the IT and telecoms sectors, after nearly half a decade of falling recruitment, and these industries may be of increasing interest to doctoral graduates in this discipline.
'What do researchers do? Doctoral graduate destinations and impact three years on' reported that within the UK, respondents were mainly employed in the education (41%) and finance business and IT sectors (24%). Common occupations were scientific, research, and development roles (25%), business, finance and IT professionals (15%) and engineering professionals (12%). 37% worked in research roles both within and outside academia and 18% worked as teaching professionals (15% in teaching and lecturing in higher education).
The physical sciences and engineering disciplinary group includes the following subjects:
- Aeronautical, general, chemical, maritime and production engineering
- Architecture, building and maritime technology
- Chemical engineering
- Civil engineering
- Computer science and IT
- Electrical and electronic engineering
- Environmental sciences
- Materials science
- Mechanical engineering
- Minerals technology
- Physical geography
- Production and manufacturing engineering
- Town and country planning
Subject specific information is provided for chemistry, physics, computer science and IT, mathematics, statistics, physical geography, environmental sciences, geology, production & manufacturing engineering and mechanical, civil, electrical/electronic and chemical engineering.
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