The Science and Technology Labor Force: The Value of Doctorate Holders and Development of Professional Careers
This book provides an in-depth analysis of the demand for PhDs on the labor markets of twelve countries. The authors analyze the role of PhDs in the creation of innovation in a knowledge-based economy and examine economic issues such as the return on investment for the education and training of doctoral graduates. To provide a more comprehensive picture of the employment patterns, career paths and mobility of PhDs in selected countries, the book analyzes various data sources such as labor force surveys and censuses. The authors also develop survey approaches and output tables to collect data on the transition from school to work among PhDs. The book will be of interest to policymakers, companies and researchers responsible for research and innovation systems, as well as to doctoral students looking for a professional career outside the academic world.
Given the constantly high demand for skilled workers in professions and industries around the world, national governments strive for developing and implementing comprehensive and sustained policy measures to develop human potential of countries. This is especially done by educating people towards tertiary graduates and most recently by enforcing doctoral education and training. The aim of these initiatives is to make highly qualified graduates available to the labor market with the ambition to achieve and maintain sustainable competitiveness of the national labor force (OECD 2011). There is consensus that if countries want to develop and maintain competencies and capacities for science, technology and innovation the education and training system needs to be strengthened at all its levels.
The career paths of Russian doctorates are explored based on three types of mobility: inter-sectoral, intra-sectoral and international mobility. The project focuses on two major interlinked issues: 1) mobility and internationalization, 2) skills and motivations for research career.
The career trajectories of doctoral holders are addressed in terms of career employment and effects on productivity (publications, patents, salary). This analysis is complemented by a second major issue, which aims to understand the role of motivations, experiences, professional shifts and other social phenomena in decision-making processes concerning career paths, and the decisions of opting for one type of mobility over the other, when mobile.
The study of Russian doctorate holders confirmed the main trend of modern R&D system, namely the intensification of international contacts and cooperation at all levels: individual, institutional and intergovernmental. The second major issue aims to understand the role of motivations, experiences, professional shifts and other social phenomena in decision-making processes concerning career paths, and the decisions of opting for one type of mobility over the other, when mobile.
Improving human potential in R&D and increasing its performance are key to the development of human capital globally. The topic of R&D personnel has been on Russia’s S&T policy agenda for roughly 20 years. There are numerous reasons for the persistence and even aggravation of existing problems. In the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the R&D sector went through a serious economic crisis. Amid negative changes in the internal and external environment there was a sharp drop in the provision of resources for research, reducing the productivity of research and experimental activity and its contribution to the development of the economy and society as a whole (Gokhberg et al. 2011; Kuznetsova 2013). Global positions in this area have also deteriorated. The level of publication activity in the country shifted from 3rd place during the Soviet era to 6th place at the start of the 1990s, and to 15th place in 2013. In the period 2000–2013 the proportion of publications by Russian authors in scientific journals indexed by Web of Science decreased from 3.22–1.92 % (Brazil—2.48 %, Japan—5.27 %, USA—24.85 %). However, in terms of patent activity (in 2013 28,765 patent applications filed in Russia by residents, 44,914—by residents and non-residents), Russia occupies the sixth position globally, but based on the number of applications per one million of the population (240.0)—it is only at the end of the top 30 globally.