Conference Board finds most PhDs are employed outside of academia

January 8, 2015

The Conference Board of Canada has released new data that shed light on where Canadian PhD degree-holders are employed. The report notes that Canada has more than 200,000 people who hold PhDs, 50% more than in 2001. PhDs were found to have a lower unemployment rate (4.1%) than that of all Canadians (6.2%), as well as a higher labour force participation rate (89.3%) than the national rate of 80.3%. The data also show that while 40% of the country’s PhDs are employed in the PSE sector, just 18.6% of PhDs are employed as full-time professors. Three-fifths are engaged in careers outside of the academy, with 17% working in the natural and applied sciences; 11% in health-related occupations; and 11% in social, community, and government services and education other than PSE. The data show that non-academic careers are the norm for PhDs; based on this fact, the Conference Board calls for better understanding and awareness of the value PhDs bring to non-academic roles. The report also says that more must be done to prepare PhD students and graduates for non-academic careers, an issue recently discussed by Catherine Maybrey on Academica’s Rethinking Higher Ed ForumConference Board Blog