PhD-educated employees and the development of generic skills

Denise Jackson, Grant Michelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While considerable research on skills and training exists, less is known about employee perceptions of their skill development. This issue is particularly salient among the most highly educated members of the labour market given the duration of their training. This study draws on survey data of 3,829 PhD graduates in Australia to explore the perceived skill development and importance of these skills among PhD graduates and the factors that influence these perceptions. The findings reveal a number of factors that explain skill development and skill importance including age, gender and career destination (e.g. higher education, industry). Perceived skill importance also depended on discipline area, organisation size, occupation, and sector. We conclude that the most highly educated members of the labour market do not always consider they obtain the requisite skills during their PhD training and that greater attention is needed to ensure that skills are better matched with career decisions and with the demands of high-level professions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-134
Number of pages27
JournalAustralian bulletin of labour
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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