The Labour Market Transition of PhD Graduates

Summary

Canada has a growing supply of PhD graduates in its economy, but evidence suggests that more could be done to support the transition of these highly skilled individuals into the labour market. Recent trends, such as an aging population that is remaining in the work force for longer, an increasing number of PhD graduates studying in Canada, the cross-border mobility of doctorate holders, and a perceived increase in competition for academic positions, are affecting the transition of PhD graduates from their academic studies to careers in a broad variety of sectors.

This assessment will take into account how the challenges faced by PhD graduates may differ by field of study, as well as their motivations to migrate in and out of Canada after completing their degree.

The Sponsor:

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

The Question

  • What are the main challenges that PhD students in Canada face in transitioning to the labour market, and how do these differ by field of study?
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The CCA’s Board of Directors has approved the assessment and preliminary background research has begun. The chair and expert panel members are being identified with guidance from the CCA’s Scientific Advisory Committee and input from the Academies ― the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. It is anticipated the final report will be released in 2020.

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Expert Panel