The Careers Center has just launched a new project called Science for Society. This project will help PhD students in searching for career paths outside of the university. One part of the project is the possibility to receive individual career guidance.
“Lately, we have experienced a surge in interest in career guidance from PhD students. Therefore, we have decided to offer career guidance to all PhD students at AAU as a part of the project,” says Karin Folmer Winther, who is the project leader for Science for Society.
Beyond career guidance, the PhD students have the opportunity to participate in various courses intended to help them with competence assessment. The goal is to translate skills gained in an academic research context to skills valuable in a business context, with guidance in relation to formulating job applications and CVs as well as preparation for job interviews.
Knowledge needs to be out in the community
“The project’s overall goal is to employ more PhD’s outside of the universities and spread their knowledge and expertise into the community, thereby benefitting both the PhD’s and businesses. It will help PhD’s to think innovatively and in an alternative way about their competencies and to build an interest for alternative career paths,” explains Karin Folmer Winther.
This project will run over a three year period, during which there will be six courses each year at AAU about job seeking-related topics. There will, among other things, be entrepreneurship courses, the creation of a mentor system, contact with businesses, and courses in ‘Pitch your PhD.’
In addition to those activities, there will also be courses and conferences at the universities in Lund and Oslo together with visits to companies.
The project itself is called the EU Interreg-project, which is an international collaboration between Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, and financed by the EU. The partners involved in Science for Society, are Oslotech A/S; The University in Oslo Center for Entrepreneurship; Lunds University Innovation System; Region Midtjylland Regional development; Aarhus University Research and external relations; and Aalborg University Careers Center.
PhD’s are primarily employed at universities
Independently of the Careers Center, the social science and the humanistic PhD schools prepared a statistical study of the career profile for PhD graduates: “Where do they go? A comparative analysis of the career paths of the PhD Graduates form humanities and social sciences at Aalborg University, 1994-2012.”
The study points to the fact that the university sector remains the largest employment sector for PhDs.
“This is, as such, not necessarily a bad thing, but we continue to educate PhDs while there is no room for them all at the university. Therefore, it is extremely important that we help them to become aware of the enormous potential that employment in both private and public companies can have,” says Karin Folmer Winther.
Science for Society has received 11.5 million kroner for the project, and it is expected that 4,900 PhDs from all universities involved in the project will participate.
Project leader Karin Folmer Winther: firstname.lastname@example.org – Phone 9940 7538
PhD counselor Ulla Egidiussen Egekvist: email@example.com – Phone 9940 7480
Text in Danish (original): Julie Fjeldgaard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text in English (translation): Bailey Smith, email@example.com