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The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability Service

Career options

There are many career pathways you can take following a doctoral programme. These typically are seen as "careers in academia" or "careers outside academia".

The Career Planning Cycle
Career Planning

Successful completion of a postgraduate research (PGR) programme often increases the chances of securing employment however it is not a golden ticket to success. Unemployment rates of doctoral graduates are generally around 50% lower than that of Bachelor (BA/BSc) graduates.

Doctoral graduates can offer a lot to the modern knowledge-based economy, where highly skilled and analytical employees are in demand. However, the PhD is not a guarantee of employment or a higher salary within an organisation. All employers whether in academia or in other industrial sectors seek personal skills and attributes that will fit their organisation in addition to academic achievement.

On undertaking a research programme you will focus on a specific research area, however, when considering employment and your future it's beneficial to do the opposite. A doctoral graduate can secure work in any employment sector. Doctoral graduates from the University of Southampton have taken a wide range of career paths within Education, Research, Engineering, Business, Finance, IT, the Public Sector, Health Professions, Charities and the Third Sector amongst many other industry sectors.

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