The Impact of Doctoral Careers

RCUK Report confirms the vital role of doctoral graduates within UK businesses 

The Impact of Doctoral Careers

The report states that over three quarters of employers believe that the loss of doctoral graduates would have a major impact on their business and one in five seeing doctoral graduates as business critical’. Doctoral graduates also improve the effectiveness of their colleagues, with the vast majority having contributed to improving problem solving and creative-thinking in others.

The report, funded by RCUK and HEFCE, was based on a study commissioned with the social research company CFE Research. It aimed to understand the economic, social and cultural impact that doctoral graduates had on the organisations they worked in. The study also investigated the types of careers graduates pursued over a seven to nine year period.

The report extends our understanding of the contribution of doctoral graduates to innovation and the wider economy and is available here.

Dr Iain Cameron, RCUK Head of Research Careers and Diversity, and member of UKCGE’s Quality and Reputation working group, said: 

This is a very robust study based on the views of ~1,800 doctoral graduates, mostly working outside Higher Education. It challenges negative stereotypes, such as the notion that doctoral graduates have only narrow interests, and in fact shows very clearly that they not only deliver for employers but also raise the game of those they work alongside.”

Professor Rosemary Deem OBE, Chair Elect of the Council said:

This study provides very valuable and significant research evidence about the crucial role played by holders of doctorates in the UK when they enter fields of employment outside academe. Their roles not only encompass bringing fresh perspectives, winning new clients, adding credibility and contributing to innovation in the workplace but also using their skills to inspire other employees to develop critical thinking and problem-solving.”

Link to Overview Report

Link to Full Report