Friday, December 8, 2017

Hidden job market for higher degree graduates in Australia

Mewburn, Suominen and Grant (2017) report on research which used Artificial Intelligence to read job ads and look for those requiring high level research skills. They conclude there is a hidden job market for PhD graduates in Australia. However, the authors' assumption that these skills are indicative of a PhD is flawed. Australia has two forms of Doctoral Degree: Research and Professional. The former is commonly referred to as a PhD, the latter as a "Doctor of discipline". Both forms of doctorate require research skills, but the latter is intended for more practical application outside universities and research organizations. It is likely that almost all the hidden job demand the report found suits professional doctorates, not PhDs. In addition, for most jobs a Masters, not Doctorate, would be sufficient.

A more refined version of the AI might be able to distinguish between real PhD jobs in university and research organizations, those in industry requiring Professional Doctoral level skills and those where a Masters would be sufficient, but this would be difficult.
"There is a large ‘hidden job market’ for PhD graduates in the Australian workforce. Only 20.7 per cent of non-academic job ads (2,770 of 13,379 unique job titles) in our dataset asked for a PhD qualification, yet as many as 43 per cent (210 of 483) of the unique job ads that were analysed 3 required a high level of research skills and capabilities, indicative of a PhD. ...

The Machine revealed some interesting
patterns regarding demand for research skills, particularly in industries traditionally assumed to have low demand for PhD graduates, such as manufacturing, transport, logistics, marketing and communication. In addition, other industry sectors were shown as potentially ready to embrace more graduates with research skills, echoing the thinking of the innovation agenda."

From Mewburn, Suominen and Grant, p2, 2017


Mewburn, I., Suominen, H. & Grant, W. (2017, August). Tracking Trends in Industry Demand for Australia's Advanced Research Workforce, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS), ANU. URL

No comments:

Post a Comment