Doctorate Holders’ Labor Market and Mobility: The Academic Career as the First Choice

  • Laudeline AuriolEmail author
  • Toshiyuki ‘Max’ Misu
  • Fernando Galindo-Rueda
Part of the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies book series (STAIS)


Doctoral graduates account for a relatively small proportion of the overall population but their importance is widely recognised (OECD 2010). Having benefitted from highly specialised research training and produced an original contribution to science, doctorate holders are expected to play a key role in the knowledge economy as they stand in a position to drive forward advances in science, technology and knowledge about society. Evidence on the careers of doctorate holders (CDH) and their contribution to science, innovation and the economy is of high relevance not only to policy decision makers and governments who finance the training of this group of individuals and support their integration in the innovation system; but also to prospective employers in search of specific skills for their workforce; and the individuals themselves who consider whether to pursue doctorate studies and proceed with research or unrelated careers. This paper provides an overview of the key statistical and analytical findings that draw on data from the second international CDH data collection conducted in 2010, as well as some complementary sources. Box 1 provides further details on this project.


Labor Market Business Sector Stable Match Annual Earning Temporary Contract 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The results that are summarised in this paper are the outcome of work carried out within the 2011/12 Program of Work and Budget of the OECD’s Committee for Science and Technological Policy (CSTP), under the aegis of the Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI) and with sponsorship from the EU’s Seventh Framework Program and NISTEP-Japan. This project has been co-ordinated by Laudeline Auriol and Toshiyuki ‘Max’ Misu with advice from Fernando Galindo-Rueda and under the overall guidance of Alessandra Colecchia, all from the OECD Economic Analysis and Statistics Division. The following individuals, listed in no particular order, have played an active and key role in the project:

Luis Sanz-Menéndez, Koen Jonkers and Laura Castro, with assistance from Kenedy Alva. Scientific Research Council, CSIC, Spain. Lead on international mobility and development of the programming code.

Joana Mendonça, Joana Duarte and Ricardo Santos. Directorate for Statistics on Education and Science (DGEEC), Portugal. Lead on job mobility, microdata harmonisation, tabulations and regression analyses.

Karen Vandevelde and Adriana Te Kaat. Centre for Research & Development Monitoring, ECOOM, University of Ghent. Lead on the development of competences/skills questions.

Karl Boosten, Belgian Science Policy, Micro data harmonisation, tabulations and regression analyses

Natalia Shmatko and Constantin Macarov Higher School of Economics, National Research University, Moscow. Micro data harmonisation and tabulations and development of competences/skills questions

Carter Bloch. Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy and Erick Christiansen, Statistics Denmark. Micro data harmonisation, tabulations and regression analyses.

Isabelle Recotillet and Julien Calmand. Centre d’études et de recherche sur les qualifications, CEREQ, France. Micro data harmonisation and tabulations

Dalit Cohen-Lerner, Central bureau of statistics, Israel. Micro data tabulations and regression analyses.

Keiji Saito, NISTEP, Japan. Support for initial development of the programming code and micro data harmonisation and tabulations.

Peter Elias, University of Warwick, Micro data harmonisation, tabulations and regression analyses.

Emilda Rivers, National Science Foundation and Lance Selfa, NORC at the University of Chicago. Micro data harmonisation, tabulations and regression analysis.

Urška Arsenjuk and Manca Golmajer, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia. Regression analysis.

Janet Metcalfe. Vitae, UK. Development of questions on competences and skills.

Rebecca Freeman, formerly OECD and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Preparation of CDH database and publication of indicators.

Richard Scott, Science and Technology Policy Division, OECD. Microeconometric analysis of data on doctorates and nearby qualifications from the national labour force survey data.

Martin Schaaper, UIS, UNESCO. Coordination of methodological guidelines and model questionnaire.

Bernard Felix, Eurostat. Contribution to methodological review carried out in 2011.

The project has greatly benefitted from comments from the EU’s project officer, Petter Whitten (DG RTD), national and independent experts and participants at OECD, Eurostat and related workshops in 2011–2012, NESTI meetings held in June 2011 and June 2012 and feedback from the Secretariat and delegates to the OECD Working Party of Research Institutions and Human Resources, in particular Ester Basri (OECD) and Rosa Fernández (BIS, UK). Statistical offices from other participating countries provided access to CDH data and information.


  1. Auriol L (2010) Careers of doctorate holders: employment and mobility patterns. OECD Science, Technology and Industry working papers 2010/04. OECD Publishing, Paris.
  2. Auriol L, Schaaper M, Felix B (2012) Mapping careers and mobility of doctorate holders: draft guidelines, model questionnaire and indicators, 3rd edn. OECD Science, Technology and Industry working papers 2012/07. OECD Publishing, Paris. doi: 10.1787/5k4dnq2h4n5c-en
  3. Auriol L, Misu M, Freeman RA (2013) Careers of doctorate holders: analysis of labour market and mobility indicators. OECD Science, Technology and Industry Indicators working papers 2013/04. OECD Publishing, Paris. doi:  10.1787/5k43nxgs289w-en
  4. OECD (2002) Proposed standard practice for surveys on research and experimental development, Frascati manual. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. OECD (2010) Skills for innovation and research, OECD innovation strategy. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. OECD (2011) Education at a glance 2011: OECD indicators. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  7. Widmaier S, Dumont J-C (2011) Are recent immigrants different? A new profile of immigrants in the OECD based on DIOC 2005/06. OECD Social, Employment and Migration working papers 126, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. OECD Publishing, Paris.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laudeline Auriol
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toshiyuki ‘Max’ Misu
    • 2
  • Fernando Galindo-Rueda
    • 3
  1. 1.Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECDParisFrance
  2. 2.Global Career Design CenterHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  3. 3.STI/EASOECDParisFrance

Personalised recommendations