Preparing your professional future

Only a minority of doctors go on to pursue an academic career. Therefore, since the Bologna Process, the question of the employability of university graduates and doctors has become a central political issue.

It is strongly recommended that you do not wait until you have completed your thesis to think about « life after the thesis », but gather information, or even attend a course or workshop in order to acquire new skills depending on your career plan. Should you opt for an academic career, a postdoc also requires long preparation.

In short, the final year of the thesis (or even a longer period) should also generally be devoted to preparing for « life after the thesis »

  • contacting persons In charge of research projects ;
  • if applicable, preparing a postdoctoral grant application ; Note : in the case of the SNSF, they must me submitted long in advance !
  • if applicable, seeking employment outside academia ;
  • making enquiries concerning the best ways of enhancing the visibility of your thesis (publication in extenso or of extracts, online or not, in the form of articles, etc.) and taking the first necessary steps.

 Today there is a range of facilities to help doctoral students to :

  • « choose » between the academic career and the non-academic job market (skills assessment, career guidance interviews, etc.) ;
  • make effective use of skills acquired during the doctorate on the employment market, but also within the context of a future academic career ;
  • acquire new transversal skills : project management, communication techniques, etc. useful on both the academic and non-academic market.

The Transferable skills section gives guidelines, tools and advice for the identification, self-evaluation or acquisition of skills.

The Beyond the doctorate section offers an overview of the questions confronting doctoral students upon completion of their thesis and advice on preparing a postdoc, finding a job on the non-academic employment market or embarking on an academic career.