Finnish study indicates positive prospects for PhDs

June 2, 2003

Brussels, 30 May 2003

A new survey on PhD employment, placement and demand in Finland predicts that the country will produce nearly 12,000 new PhD graduates by 2010, and says that there are no signs that demand for people with doctorates will decline in the future.

The study, published on 28 May by the Academy of Finland, was commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of Education in response to the recent EU debate regarding the need for an additional 500,000 scientists to achieve the Barcelona target on research expenditure. The results will assist decision making on science and education policy in Finland.

With an unemployment rate for PhD graduates of less than three per cent throughout the 1990s, there seems to be no shortage of opportunities for well qualified researchers. Furthermore, of those surveyed, 95 per cent of doctorate holders who graduated in 2000 stated that their current job was reasonably compatible with their training, while nearly 66 per cent described their present roles as 'very compatible' with their qualifications.

By subject, the most advantageous PhDs in terms of finding employment are in engineering, medicine and the natural sciences and together, these three fields account for 61 per cent of all PhDs awarded between 1989 and 2002.

A further encouraging trend in the context of the Commission's bid to increase the number of women in science shows that the annual proportion of female PhD graduates in Finland has increased dramatically, and in 2002 women accounted for almost 46 per cent of the total number.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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