From PhD to initial employment: the doctorate in a knowledge economy

Ruth Neumann*, Kim Khim Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Within universities there is often still an implicit assumption that the doctorate is preparation for an academic career. Yet for over a decade there has been evidence in a number of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries that there are increasing numbers of students undertaking a doctorate and that larger proportions of doctoral graduates are taking up nonacademic employment. This article presents findings from a study of Australian doctoral employment destinations for the period 2000-2007. These findings are also discussed in terms of disciplinary and institutional variations. Comparisons are made with European and US studies on employment trends, contributing to a more international picture of doctoral outcomes in terms of employment. The study utilises a public policy framework within the context of the development of knowledge economies, outcomes-based judgements on education and the professionalisation of the doctorate in Australia and other OECD countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-614
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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