Main results from the PhD Graduation Report

Employment after a PhD programme at DTU

  • Currently 94 % are employed, 1 % is self-employed – the rest is enrolled in full-time education or unemployed

  • Half of the employed graduates are working in the private sector, and more than one in three are employed at a university or a similar research institution.

  • There is a considerable predominance of graduates employed in large companies and organizations with more than 1,000 employees, and at workplaces in the Capital Region of Denmark.

  • The majority of graduates are occupied with research assignments.

  • In general, most graduates give priority to meeting professional challenges in their work, but a suitable work-life balance is also an important quality for most of them.


Transition to the labour market

  • The great majority make a smooth transition from a PhD programme to the labour market

  • 74% have already found jobs before they complete their PhD programme.

  • Slightly more than half of the graduates find their first job at a university.

  • 37 % got their first job through their professional network

  • Many believe that, in particular, the specialized competencies they have acquired have played an important part in their first employment.

  • The companies who primarily recruit engineering generalists and specialists experience slightly greater challenges in the transition than the companies who primarily recruit generalists and specialists in research fields.

  • In the companies where the graduates are not primarily working on research assignments, they may for instance need to learn to work with customer interaction and project management, and observe shorter and stricter deadlines.


The match between required and acquired competencies

  • The great majority of graduates feel well equipped for the labour market.

  • Recruiting companies generally believe that the competencies they need are matched by the PhD graduates’ profiles

  • The PhD programme equips graduates to a greater degree for future work in universities and research institutions

  • Slightly more than half of the graduates believe that a PhD was required for their first job after submitting their thesis.


Collaboration with trade and industry

  • 43% of graduates have collaborated with trade or industry

  • Commercial collaboration is one of the areas where a significant number of graduates find possibilities for developing their PhD programme to equip them better for employment in trade and industry

  • The recruiting companies generally find that collaboration on a PhD project brings new development and knowledge to the company, enabling it to go in depth in a field for which there would not otherwise be resources or funds.


Research visits abroad

  • Slightly more than half the graduates have studied or conducted research at a different university during their PhD programme.

  • 75 % state that they have built up an international network in connection with their PhD programme.

  • The recruiting companies also find that research visits abroad contribute positively to the graduates’ development, and in particular maturity, language skills, and understanding of other cultures.

  • A visit abroad for research is particularly important to recruiters looking for high research expertise, since it results in a professional network, to which the recruiter also gains access by employing a PhD graduate.


Supplementary and continuing education

  • Approx. 25 % of the graduates have completed or are taking continuing education – primarily at DTU.

  • Approx. 80 % believe that continuing education is ‘highly important’ or ‘to some extent important’ to enable them to maintain their value on the labour market.