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Career day

NTNU visits UiB to learn how to give career guidance

For the third time, the Faculty of Medicine organized a career day for its PhD candidates. NTNU sent representatives to learn from us.

Brita Solveig Pukstad
Brita Solveig Pukstad is vice dean for innovation and PhD education at NTNU. She visited Bergen for some inspiration to establish a career day in Trondheim.
Kim E. Andreassen


"We are very happy to be allowed to be here today. We do not have this kind of career day at NTNU, but we hope to arrange something similar next year, "says Brita Solveig Pukstad, vice-dean of innovation and PhD education at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at NTNU.

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bergen (UiB) arranged the career day for its doctoral candidates and postdoctors for the third time, Thursday 4 October. The program included everything from presentations from former PhD candidates and postdoctors to different types of workshops and stands.

Of the 90 participants, not only UiB employees were present. NTNU also took a trip to Haukeland to see how career days at the Faculty of Medicine take place.

Pukstad says she is left with a very good impression of this career day, which she will take to NTNU management centrally.

"You had very good lecturers without having someone from outside. I am wondering if we have similar people that we can use for our future career day, "she says.

Training for society

The career day at the Faculty of Medicine is a response to the increasing number of doctorates each year. Only 15 percent of PhD graduates end up in academic positions. Around 80 percent of them will have a career outside academia, according to Roland Jonsson, vice dean of Research Education at the Faculty of Medicine, UiB.

He says that the Faculty in recent years has taken more responsibility to help the candidates think about their future after the doctorate than before.

"The situation has changed a lot over the last ten years for doctoral candidates. We not only educate candidates for research and development, but increasingly to the high levels of knowledge that our modern society demands. This will include the ability to communicate,  critical and independent thinking, "says Jonsson.

Happy with doctorate in business

A 2012 NIFU survey shows that 90 percent of doctoral graduates outside academia are in fact satisfied with their job.

" A doctoral degree is proof that you are intelligent and creative. You can actually solve more exciting tasks than you think, "says Hiwa Målen, Project Manager of DIGSSCORE, at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UiB.

Målen was one of four PhD alumni who presented alternative career paths. He has been a technical coordinator and project manager at ABB and Aker Solutions before returning to the University.

"If you have a doctorate, you are actually attractive to business and can have a happy life there. In addition, one is often more attractive to academia if gaining experience from business, as well as doctorate. The door is not closed even if you want to go back to the university later," says Målen.

Networks are important

He says it's important to think a little bit out of the box and get practical knowledge and form networks with people who have different backgrounds than yourself while taking the doctorate.

"It's good to engage and maybe establish own platforms and events. Even sitting in the board in the local school corps has been useful for my career," says Hiwa Målen.


This article was translated by Margarethe Bittins.