The Value of PhD in the Changing World of Work: traditional and alternative research careers
The paper considers career patterns of researchers and the ways to assess their career achievements on the academic and non-academic labor markets. Taking into account the approaches developed earlier in the framework of the sociology of science, as well as on the basis of recent empirical studies, the authors propose an original approach to the study of a research career, determine the integral indicator of career achievements and assess the research career rank by means of the transition probabilities. The study is based on the data obtained during a survey among Russian researchers involving 828 respondents employed by organizations in the main prospective science and technology areas (academic and non-academic sectors). We suggest the research career achievement (RCA) indicator as an analytical tool for managing highly qualified research personnel. The use of PageRank method enabled to discern an extremely uneven distribution of the research career achievement value in the surveyed sample of researchers. The analysis revealed the main factors determining academic and non-academic research career patterns. The findings attest that the factors affecting career patterns are closely linked with the recognition that the researcher obtains or expects at three levels: individual – professional community – society as a whole.