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Doctoral education and employment in the regions: the case of Catalonia
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, HELIX Competence Centre. HELIX Competence Centre. (RUNIN)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1188-4422
2019 (English)In: Regional Studies, Regional Science, ISSN 0080-0694, E-ISSN 2168-1376, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 299-318Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Even though the doctoral degree was originally designed for an academic career, there is an increasingly important labour market for doctorate holders outside academia, mainly because of a shortage of job opportunities within it. Doctoral degrees are granted only by universities; thus, universities are the only suppliers of the doctoral workforce to the labour market. Understanding the needs of non-academic employers is thus crucial if universities are to adapt their doctoral education curriculum. Many studies have analyzed labour markets for doctorate holders at national and transnational scales, but few studies focus on the regional scale. The present study explores regional data for Catalonia in Spain on the employment situation of doctorate holders in order to define the characteristics of the regional, non-academic labour market for doctorate holders. Descriptive statistics suggest a high retention rate of doctorate holders within the region and a large part of doctorate holders (two-thirds) having a job that does not require a doctoral degree. This study highlights the existence of a skills mismatch that might be linked to the preference for a better paid or more stable job, or to the lack of development of skills that represent added value in the eyes of employers. These characteristics can be formulated as hypotheses to be tested in further qualitative or quantitative studies. They have several implications for universities, non-academic employers and regional policy-makers, such as the need to work on the valorization of the doctoral degree in the non-academic labour market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Koenigstein, Germany: Koeltz Scientific Books , 2019. Vol. 6, no 1, p. 299-318
Keywords [en]
doctoral education, doctorate holders, graduate employment, regional labour market, over-education, job mismatch
National Category
Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157100DOI: 10.1080/21681376.2019.1584049ISI: 000470229600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157100DiVA, id: diva2:1318629
Available from: 2019-05-28 Created: 2019-05-28 Last updated: 2020-03-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Doctoral education in the entrepreneurial university: enhanced employability?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Doctoral education in the entrepreneurial university: enhanced employability?
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation explores the issue of employability of doctorate holders through the theoretical lens of the model of the entrepreneurial university. It starts from the observation that there is a bottleneck in the academic labour market in many countries, making it increasingly difficult for recent doctoral graduates to engage in an academic career. Traditionally, doctoral education was designed for a career in academia; but the employment situations of doctorate holders call for more relevance of doctoral education and doctoral-level skills on the non-academic labour market. The main argument of this dissertation is that the openness and the interactions of the entrepreneurial university with its environment, in particular its region, makes it a relevant model to enhance the employability of doctorate holders outside academia. The thesis is based on five publications written either solely by the author or in collaboration with other scholars, mostly case studies compiling both qualitative and quantitative data and approaches.

Three main findings can be highlighted from the research: (i) the entrepreneurial university increases its socioeconomic impact by building an alignment with regional stakeholders over the years and thanks to key individuals, by retaining human and social capital within itself and by broadening the scope of its activities and stakeholders; (ii) doctorate holders’ employability is key in the entrepreneurial university’s regional socioeconomic impact, as they are increasingly employed outside academia but are likely to experience job mismatches in this situation, mainly related to education and skills; (iii) regional stakeholders can take different types of initiatives to enhance the employability of doctorate holders, and increase the entrepreneurial university’s socioeconomic impact: more specifically, doctorate holders and non-academic employers can get to know each other better; intermediaries such as Science Parks can support them through the creation of meeting places.

The dissertation contributes to the literature on the entrepreneurial university by focusing on the population of doctoral students and doctorate holders, at the crossroads of its three missions (education, research and ‘third mission’). It also suggests the following main recommendations: to universities, beyond adapting the content of doctoral education to the needs of non-academic employers, put emphasis on marketing it to them, so that they understand what it is worth; to doctorate holders, expand their knowledge of career possibilities, and behave entrepreneurially by initiating activities to complement what could be missing in their education; to non-academic employers, collaborate with universities and communicate their needs to them to influence the design of curricula.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen undersöker anställningsbarheten för en disputerad person med teoretisk utgångspunkt i en modell av det entreprenöriella universitetet. I de flesta länder är det svårt för nyexaminerade doktorer att komma in på arbetsmarknaden, inte minst för dem som vill fortsätta inom akademin. Traditionellt är en doktorandutbildning utformad för en fortsatt karriär inom akademin, men på grund av de begränsade möjligheterna på arbetsmarknaden krävs doktorandutbildningar med större relevans och som även ger färdigheter inför en icke akademisk karriär. Huvudtesen i denna avhandling är att det entreprenöriella universitetets öppenhet och interaktionen med det omgivande samhället, inte minst med den närliggande regionen, ökar de nydisputerades anställningsbarhet utanför akademin.

Avhandling baseras på fem publikationer skrivna antingen av en enskild författare eller i samarbete med kollegor och som grundar sig på såväl kvalitativa som kvantitativa studier. Tre huvudsakliga resultat kan lyftas från forskningen: (i) Det entreprenöriella universitetet ökar sitt socioekonomiska inflytande genom att skapa en plattform för samarbete med regionala aktörer, som utvecklas över åren och där mänskligt och ekonomiskt kapital i sig bidrar till att öka och bredda samarbetet ytterligare. (ii) De disputerades anställningsbarhet är en nyckel till det entreprenöriella universitetets möjlighet till socioekonomisk regional påverkan. Detta beror på att de disputerade i ökande utsträckning anställs utanför akademin och sannolikt upplever att det finns en miss-match i kunskaper och färdigheter. (iii) Regionala aktörer kan ta olika typer av initiativ för att öka anställningsbarheten för nyexaminerade doktorer och därmed också öka det entreprenöriella universitetets socioekonomiska inflytande. Mer specifikt bör doktorander och arbetsgivare utanför akademin lära känna varandra bättre. Intermediärer som närliggande forskningsbyar, Science parks, kan ge stöd genom att inrätta olika typer av mötesplatser.

Avhandlingen bidrar till litteraturen inom området entreprenöriella universitet genom att sätta fokus på doktorander och nyblivna doktorer i skärningspunkten mellan utbildning, forskning och den ’tredje uppgiften’. I avhandlingen ges också rekommendationer: Till universiteten: Utöver att anpassa innehållet i doktorandutbildningen till behoven hos arbetsgivare utanför akademin behöver akademin också lägga tonvikt på marknadsföring så att företagare och organisationer i regionen inser värdet av en doktorsexamen. Till nyblivna doktorer: utvidga kunskaperna om vilka karriärmöjligheter som står till buds och agera entreprenöriellt för att komplettera de brister de upplever i sin utbildning. Till arbetsgivare utanför akademin: samarbeta med universiteten och kommunicera vilka behov de har för att påverka läroplaner och inriktningar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2020. p. 109
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2043
Keywords
Entrepreneurial university, Doctoral education, Job mismatches, Regional development, Entrepreneurship, Non-academic careers, Employability, Entreprenöriella universitet, Doktorsexamen, Matchning på arbetsmarknaden, Regional utveckling, Entreprenörskap, Icke-akademisk karriär, Anställningsbarhet
National Category
Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-164164 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-164164 (DOI)9789179299149 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-04-24, Online through Zoom (contact Eloise.germain@liu.se for more information) and ACAS, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 722295
Available from: 2020-03-09 Created: 2020-03-09 Last updated: 2020-04-17Bibliographically approved

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