Life after PhD: What Careers Do PhD Students in Russia Consider?
With the new Federal Law on Education introduced in Russia in the late 2012, postgraduate training became the third level of higher education. The framework of PhD education has changed. Before 2013, doctoral education, which was one of the systems that had been inherited from the Soviet period, was officially considered as a track to academia, while now it works in a wider scope of highly qualified personnel training. But does this mean that the days when it was thought that all PhDs should become academics are gone? We have addressed this question to PhD students themselves and are reporting data from a recent survey conducted by Higher School of Economics’ Centre for Institutional Research in several Russian universities this spring. Thirteen Russian universities participated in the survey administrated online. Most of them are considered to be leading institutions of higher education in Russia. Overall 2221 students from different fields filled in the questionnaire (26% representing social sciences, 8% – education, 28% – mathematical and natural sciences, 12% – humanities, 26% – engineering and technological sciences). 51% of the respondents were males, 16% were part-time students. We asked the respondents about their future career plans, their willingness to find a job at their home university or to continue studies abroad. We counted weighted average for all indicators to neutralize the differences in size of the institutions in the sample.