Canadian PhDs and careers

Conference Board of Canada has published in November 2015 an interesting study upon Canadian PhDs and their careers titled “Inside and Outside the Academy: Valuing and Preparing PhDs for Careers.” Among the highlights of the study, one would find somewhat surprising results, for example:

  • “Fewer than one in five PhD graduates are employed as full-time university professors”
  • “The majority of the PhDs are employed outside of academia in a wide range of rewarding careers”
  • “Many graduates face challenging initial transitions to careers outside academia due to underdeveloped professional skills and networks, difficulty articulating the value of the skills gained through PhD studies to non-academic employers , and limited employer awareness or misperceptions about the potential value of PhD hires”
  • “Canadian universities have implemented a wide range of graduate professional development initiatives to ease career transitions for PhDs.”

The report was developed under the direction of Dr. Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy, Conference Board of Canada and it was researched and written by Dr. Jessica Edge and Dr. Daniel Munro.

This is the result of the multi-year initiative to examine the advanced skills and educational challenges facing Canada today, which is carried by the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education.


The document can be accessed on the Conference Board of Canada website.