The world of academia is hard to be linked with the world of practice. The perception that PhD graduated may find jobs mostly in universities, is confirmed by a 2014 research on intersectoral mobility (between the academia sector and the public, private or “third” sectors) of social sciences and humanities (SSH) PhD graduates. Although limited data is available on PhD graduates, the mentioned study concluded that ‘the majority of SSH researchers are employed in higher education’. The same study shows that “multiple” mobility between different sectors is not easy, especially between the academia and the business sector. This is due to the difference between the working cultures and differences in payments as well as the skills developed.
Broader professional development is becoming increasingly significant as employers look for researchers who can ‘add value’ to their organisations. Reflection on researchers’ professional development should cover one’s own skills, understanding, aptitudes and ambitions. Development as a professional involves more than building a research profile and research skills.
Career development is most effective when it starts early and becomes a continual activity. By beginning to consider career goals early, researchers can ensure sufficient time to develop the skills and experience needed to work towards the achievement of planned goals. Whereas leaving consideration of career options to late stages means diminishing opportunities to encompass new experiences related to a career path or engaging in other important development activities or projects.