19 October 2021

Newly graduated doctoral students from Linköping University have the highest level of employment on the labour market. The statistics are presented in a newly published report from the Swedish Higher Education Authority, UKÄ.

Hats and diplomas
Magnus Johansson
The report shows that the level of employment among doctoral graduates differs greatly between different subjects. Three years after graduating, those with doctoral degrees in technology have a level of employment of 88%, while those with doctoral degrees in humanities and arts have 72%.
Linköping University, however, is a frontrunner, with high levels of employment for all doctoral graduates, independently of subject. No other institution of higher education has as high a level. Three years after graduating with a doctoral degree from LiU, 86% of women and 90% of men have employment that is related to the subject of their degree.

“We are, of course, delighted about this, and look forward to a future report in which UKÄ will examine why LiU has such good results”, says Per-Olof Brehmer, deputy vice-chancellor for research at LiU.

Early career discussions

He sees two possible explanations of the result.
“We bring up the question of future career at an early stage of the doctoral studies. Have the PhD students thought about what will happen after their research education? What possibilities will there be for them to remain at the university? What are the job prospects like outside of academia, and in other professions where their research education can be useful? This type of career guidance means that our doctoral students become aware at an early stage how important it is to plan ahead.”

The other explanation is the long-term work of the university in collaboration with the business world and society.
“We work unceasingly to develop our collaboration and the utilisation of our research results. We demonstrate how our results benefit and influence society. Our collaboration also opens opportunities for our PhD students: they see that it is possible to make other choices outside of the academic world”, says Per-Olof Brehmer.

Most leave academia

The UKÄ report has studied people who graduated with doctoral degrees in the period 1998-2015. One of the criteria the report uses to defines whether a person is established on the labour market is that they have an annual income of at least SEK 241,900.

Are the jobs they take sufficiently advanced?
“Other investigations, such as those conducted by Statistics Sweden, demonstrate that most are employed in jobs that are compatible with their level of expertise. Graduates from LiU also get good results in such investigations”, says Per-Olof Brehmer.

The report shows that most doctoral students in Sweden leave the academic world. Three years after graduating, 44% were still working in higher education. Further, most international doctoral students leave Sweden: only 43% are still in Sweden three years after graduating.

Doktorsexaminerades etablering på arbetsmarknaden

Translated by George Farrants

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