Life Outside the Academy: Career Prospects and Outcomes for Canadian PhD Graduates

The Conference Board of Canada, February 11, 2016
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Each year, thousands of students across Canada begin their PhD studies, many with the goal of becoming a tenured university professor. However, less than 20 per cent of PhD graduates ultimately achieve that goal, with about another 20 per cent finding other careers within the post-secondary-education (PSE) sector. So where are the other 60 per cent of PhDs employed? What are the career prospects for those PhDs who work outside the academy?

Join Dr. Michael Bloom and Dr. Jessica Edge from the Conference Board’s Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education as they examine the employment opportunities and outcomes of PhD holders both inside and outside the academy. While PhD graduates possess numerous advanced skills that benefit Canada’s economy and society, many find the initial transition to careers outside of academia challenging.

Michael and Jessica will explore this important issue, and outline innovative strategies and initiatives to ease career transitions for PhD graduates across the country.

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Webinar Highlights

This 60 minute webinar will:

  • Present data on the employment opportunities and outcomes of PhD holders both inside and outside PSE
  • Highlight the importance of PhD education to Canada’s economic, social, and cultural well-being
  • Characterize the challenges PhD students and graduates face as they transition to careers beyond PSE
  • Examine employer demand and receptivity to hiring PhD graduates
  • Discuss innovative professional development initiatives from Canada and peer countries to help PhDs smoothly transition to a wide range of careers.

About Michael

Photo of Michael BloomDr. Michael Bloom is the Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy at The Conference Board of Canada. Michael is responsible for managing seven research groups: Education, Skills and Immigration; Business Innovation; Industry and Business Strategy; Organizational Excellence; Governance, Compliance and Risk; Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations; and the Saskatchewan Institute. He oversees funded research projects and executive networks at the Conference Board, and has management responsibility for nineteen executive networks. Corporately, Michael is executive lead for the Centre on Skills and Post-Secondary Education, a major five-year initiative which is developing a Skills and PSE Strategy for Canada, based on a program of 52 research projects, and creating pathways tools for learners to navigate through education and training to jobs and careers across Canada. Michael speaks on post-secondary education; innovation; industry and business strategy; credentialing; skills; immigration; food policy; human capital; work and workplaces; and international benchmarks. Dr. Bloom is a graduate of the University of Oxford (DPhil) and Carleton University (BA, MA).

About Jessica

Photo of Jessica EdgeDr. Jessica Edge is a Senior Research Associate in Industry and Business Strategy at The Conference Board of Canada. Jessica is involved in the Conference Board’s Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education and has conducted research on preparing PhD graduates for diverse careers; policies, laws, and regulations governing PSE; Aboriginal learners and PSE; and PSE in Northern Norway. Jessica’s research has also looked at innovation and national competitiveness; corporate social responsibility and reputation management; amateur sport; and, food issues. Jessica has a PhD from McMaster University.

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