I'm posting this hoping to get some useful feedbacks as to how PhDs holders get their jobs... Here's the situation, I have a PhD in information systems and have been working as a lecturer during my candidature (common enough). After graduation, I hope to work for the industry so I can make a direct contribution. I don't mind entry positions as I believe that that is the way to go for someone without concrete industry experience. Needless to say, most jobs I've applied turn me down flat-out.
Example, point-in-case: A job I've recently applied online:
I applied for it when it was first posted, and in only two days, I got the "unsuccessful" notification!!! I don't even make the cut for entry-position considering I have 5 years of IS consultancy experience!Responsibilities:
Our organisational development consulting practice is expanding and we are keen to recruit consultants from entry level to experienced consultants. To help our clients become high performing businesses, they apply market-relevant skills. Areas of consulting may include:
• Strategic planning; performance management; competency development; process improvement; change management
• Business Excellence initiatives e.g. Singapore Quality Class, People Developer, Singapore Innovation Class, Singapore Service Class
This dynamic, hands-on role is responsible for all facets of each project including project management, defining client requirements, documenting specifications, developing project plans, resulting in satisfied clients and solutions implementation.
Requirements:• Degree in Business Administration, Social Science or Science
• Fresh graduates with excellent results will be considered for entry-level positions as Analyst
• Passion and desire to succeed
• Great listening skills
• Analytical mind
I have spoken to many career consultants and most of them would only pay lip-services without a real solution. I can understand that "job hopping" is the biggest concern for employers, then again, who is to guarantee that undergrads would not jump to another job should the opportunity arises? Another concern is that PhDs are too academic and can't apply themselve to the industry... there are many who claimed to have years of industry experience and still can't apply themselves, not to mentioned freshgrads whom have none to apply...
To be fair, this is not exclusive to Singapore. Do a search in google for "phd overqualified" and you can see that this is quite wide-spread. Just the other day, I've read on a japanese forum that one of their PhDs took her 3-years, going door-to-door, before she finally got a job. But the real question is, what is workforce development doing to improve the situation? And what is all the talk about brain-drain if there is no system in placed?
Perhaps, one should only do a PhD in a demanded field (like biotech). But what IS a demanded field in our changing world? A lot can change during the candidature. Even so, what is the implication to academic freedom; and how real is the tenure system in say NUS or NTU then if everyone is to start with a restricted ground?
So far, my view is that PhDs can forget about the industry. Either teach or research. If the field is not what Singapore, move to another country and contribute to the brain-drain count. What is your view?