The Labour Market Transition of PhD Graduates


Canada has a growing supply of PhD graduates in its economy, but evidence suggests that more could be done to support the transition of these highly skilled individuals into the labour market. Recent trends, such as an aging population that is remaining in the work force for longer, an increasing number of PhD graduates studying in Canada, the cross-border mobility of doctorate holders, and a perceived increase in competition for academic positions, are affecting the transition of PhD graduates from their academic studies to careers in a broad variety of sectors.

This assessment will take into account how the challenges faced by PhD graduates may differ by field of study, as well as their motivations to migrate in and out of Canada after completing their degree.

The Sponsor:

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

The Question

  • What are the main challenges that PhD students in Canada face in transitioning to the labour market, and how do these differ by field of study?

The second meeting of the Expert Panel on The Labour Market Transition of PhD Graduates was held in Montréal from July 17-18. During the meeting, the Panel had the opportunity to interact with external experts to learn about the transition of PhD graduates to the private sector. The next meeting of the Panel will take place in October.