UBC PhD Career Outcome Survey 2016

The research PhD was created to support the development of individuals able to use the power of rigorous scholarly inquiry to advance society. If the academy is committed to ensuring the relevance of the degree for the 21st century, we need to understand how our graduates are, or could be, contributing to the world today. This information will help tremendously in raising awareness of and increasing the transparency about potential careers, and in informing our educational endeavours.

For the first time, UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies has taken on the challenge of systematically tracking these outcomes, starting with the 3805 students who graduated between 2005-13. Using a combination of survey and internet searches, information was obtained for 91% of these graduates. This approach, and the ability to link the outcomes to student data, allowed a more comprehensive and richer analysis of student outcomes than most studies of this kind. The data have been distributed to all programs, and summaries posted for all prospective students.

We are also making the data available to all, through the Explore and Compare sections on this website, and encourage you to draw your own conclusions about our results.

"It's fascinating to see the many career paths that PhD graduates take, and the many paths they take to get there. This survey showed us the diversity of PhD career outcomes, and the many ways PhDs contribute to the world. Receiving a PhD indicates profound intellectual growth and abilities in critical and synthetic thinking, essential attributes for the 21st century. As we continue to watch the ways in which doctoral graduates contribute to society, and continue to enhance their formation as scholars who are well equipped for today’s world, we envision even more diverse and impactful outcomes in the future," says Dean Susan Porter.

Our conclusions on this data are available in this UBC PhD Career Outcomes Report >. We hope that you find the report and this website valuable.

Report prepared by

Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost
Louise Mol, Systems and Data Analysis Manager
Jens Locher, Assistant Dean, Strategic Technologies and Business Initiatives
Melinda Johnston, Communications Manager

With sincere thanks to the many individuals and units for their invaluable assistance in making this project possible, including: Matthew Smithdeal, Sarah King, Kelli Kadokawa, alumni UBC, TRaCE project, UBC graduate program directors and department heads, and UBC Public Affairs. We thank UBC IT Web Services, Lars Kotthoff and Tamara Munzner for their support with the website visualizations.

Contact us

For questions or more information about this project, please contact us at: graduate.communications@ubc.ca