Where can I find my next career?
Talent, Scientist, Researcher
Find out in which sector you can find your career path outside the academia.
The Agriculture & Forestry Sector
Agriculture is the science of cultivating the soil and raising livestock. Forestry is the management of vegetation in forests.
One of Europe’s oldest economic sectors and still is alive and well. The sector continues to bring employment and income to millions of Europeans and to uphold Europe’s place as a world leader.
The sector needs researchers, especially STEM graduates and highly specialized Ph.D. holders such as Botanists and Agriculturalists.
Research fields: chemical engineering, Bioengineering, mechanical engineering, botany, biology, horticulture, and agriculture.
Required Skills: numeracy, initiative/innovation, organization, research, teamwork, and project management.
Employment is relatively easy to come by and will be needed for the foreseeable future. Overall, a steady dependable sector in which significant employment is more than a possibility.
About 5% of the European labor force is employed in agricultural or forestry industries. Most of the enterprises in the European sector are small to medium-sized enterprises.
The Charity Sector
Europe is one of the most charitable regions in the world and is second only to the United States in the amount it gives to charity annually. Total charitable donations have been on the rise throughout Europe and have been linked to significant technological advances such donation applications and online wireless payments.
The sector needs researchers, especially in: 'hard research' and research management/market research positions.
Research Fields: Every academic background. The most prominent research fields are the hard sciences, sociology, development, and management.
Required Skills: Creativity, innovation, teamwork, flexibility, adaptability, quantitative & qualitative, dedication, and commitment.
The charity sector is often associated with part-time or non-payed employment. However, the sector contains thousands of large charitable organizations who manage assets and endowments in the billions. These foundations are willing to pay substantially to acquire top-tier talent to manage their endowments and projects. Since the sector is growing quickly, it seems a lot of jobs will be opened in the coming years. Overall, employees in the sector express high levels of happiness with their places of employment and most cite their work as being quite meaningful.
The Consultancy Sector
Consulting is the business of giving expert advice in a professional or technical field. The field of consulting is an invention of the 20th century and has since become one of the most respected and lucrative economic sectors globally. There are hundreds of different types of consulting firms and businesses and
The sector needs highly trained researchers and analytical thinkers. The sector's high salaries and career opportunities make it extremely desirable for recent graduates and as such extremely competitive.
Research Fields: Every academic background. Researchers from the STEM fields do extremely well. It is recommended to get involved in consulting graduate schemes as early on as possible.
Required Skills: Problem-solving, analytical thinking, strong written and communication skills, teamwork ability, planning ability, organizational skills, a friendly personality, initiative, motivation, and commercial awareness.
The European consulting sector is one of the fastest growing in the world and there are more employment opportunities than ever before. Working in the sector is not only prestigious but extremely well paid and is a great place to begin a career. But it should be noted that employees in the sector work extremely long hours and travel a lot for their work due to the international profile of their clientele.
The Finance Sector
The Finance sector is one of Europe's most important economic sectors, as it is involved in and an integral part of almost every other economic sector. The struggles of Europe's Finance Sector during the Eurozone crisis in 2008 are well documented, however, the sector is firmly on the road to recovery. As it has been experiencing growth over the last few years and has already surpassed pre-crisis levels.
Researchers are uncommon in the Finance Sector; however, they can be found in investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, risk management firms, and consulting firms. With most researchers in the Finance sector working either as industry-specific equity research associates, or quantitative analysts.
Research Fields: Mathematics, science, engineering, economics, and finance.
Required Skills: Complex problem solving, creativity, analytical, stress-management, organizational, flexibility, creativity, communication, and independence.
Positions for researchers in the sector are extremely well compensated, but there is not an abundance of positions for researchers. Most of the positions for researchers are in large Financial enterprises and institutions. Many of these enterprises and institutions have understandings with Academic institutions in which a certain percentage of the graduates in a certain Ph.D. field, often Finance, find direct employment in the enterprise or institution upon graduation.
The Health Sector
Healthcare is comprised of human health activities, residential care activities (including long-term care), and social work activities. A larger workforce than ever before is needed to provide healthcare to the world’s aging citizens. This trend is pronounced in Europe, which has one of the world’s fastest aging and shrinking populations. Therefore, the sector is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Europe. While Europe's Health Care is not a world leader due to its relatively small size it is amongst the most advanced in the world, with several European countries being world-leading innovators.
The sector boasts many positions for researchers, due to the demand for the most cutting edge in health products and services.
Research Fields: Biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomedical science, chemistry, food science, genetics, microbiology, pharmacology, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and medical sciences
Required Skills: Teamwork, communication, interpersonal, research, problem-solving, creativity, enthusiasm, time management, and organizational skills.
Employment in this sector is relatively easy to come by and it has the second highest number of employment vacancies after the wholesale and retail trade, with one million positions, predicted to be vacant by 2020. Due to Europe's population and age issues, the sector is set to have many employment opportunities for years to come.
Most of Healthcare enterprises are large. Some smaller enterprises do exist, such as private practice offices, but they are still a minority.
The Higher Education Sector
Higher education is the tertiary level of education. The employees are professors, researchers, and high-level administration. The HE sector is set to see substantial growth in the future. Currently, Europe has over 19.5 million students, 1.5 million academics, and 500,000 researchers participating in the Higher Education sector. Europe has more world-class universities than any other region in the world. Nearly half of the World's Top 400 universities reside in Europe.
Obviously, the HE sector is by far the most desired sector by researchers. Outside of ‘pure’ research positions, the HE sector offers a number of additional career opportunities for non-research staff, as educational managers, administrative staff, project managers as well as library and resource administrators.
Research Fields: All research fields.
Required Skills: Project management, budget handling, team leading/management, data management, and IT skills.
Europe has the strongest HE sector in the world (after the US) and provides millions of significant employment opportunities with large salaries and high-levels of prestige, especially in teaching and research positions. In recent years a ‘brain drain’ has existed in Europe which has seen a large number of top researchers and teachers go abroad. However, HE institutions are not lacking incoming talent as demand and competition for positions has remained high.
The European HE sector is comprised of a variety of public, private, and hybrid institutions. Significant employment opportunities can be found in all three forms of institutions with a varying range of salary and conditions.
The International Development Sector
The International development sector engages with economically disadvantaged regions around the world in order to empower people and improve their well-being by addressing issues in their societies. The sector is involved in governance, healthcare, education, gender, disaster preparedness, infrastructure, economics, human rights, migration, security, conflict, and the environment. The majority of International Development work is conducted through national governments, Supra-national organizations such as the U.N. and the World Bank, and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Europe is the global leader in development aid contributions, contributing over $91.7bil annually in development, which accounts for 57% of global contributions.
All three types of International Development organizations (government agencies, international bodies, and NGOs) require researchers. Researchers fill a number of roles in the sector: policy research, project planning, and scientific research, etc. While there are a large number of potential positions for researchers in the sector, demand for research positions is quite competitive. Furthermore, the experience is often valued above anything else.
Research Fields: All degrees are relevant to the sector; however, economics, social policy, public administration, law, engineering, medicine, and International Development have high applicability in the sector.
Required Skills: Communication, problem-solving, interpersonal, management, organizational awareness, organizational, determination, cross-cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility, language, and decision-making skills.
The EU is pushing its member states to increase their annual development contributions. As such, employment in the sector is expanding as more money goes into development activities. As mentioned, due to the competition in the sector, making experience a must for employment in the sector. It is almost impossible to get an entry-level position without some prior experience. Even more so the sector requires that employees have a master’s degree or above to find even basic employment in the sector. employees in the sector cite high levels of satisfaction and fulfillment in their employment.
The Information Technology Sector
The IT (Information Technology) sector also known as the ICT sector and defines it as, “as a combination of manufacturing and services industries that capture, transmit and display data and information electronically.” The last two decades have seen the information technology (IT) industry become one of the most important and dominant industries/sectors in the world. The birth of the IT sector over the last few decades has created unparalleled economic growth worldwide and specifically in the "West". The sector employs millions of highly trained employees around the world who receive extremely competitive pay and benefits. The IT sector is only set to expand in the coming years with no end to its growth in sight.
Having a Ph.D./Postdoc is not a prerequisite to finding significant employment in the IT sector, however, it can be useful for distinguishing oneself from other potential job candidates. It may also allow for accelerated upward mobility in the employee hierarchy in large companies. It should be noted that experience in the sector is a priority for many IT employers, with experience often valued over degree attainment. Many Ph.D./Postdoc graduates have been able to leverage their studied specialties and areas of expertise to find significant employment in specific projects within the sector.
Research Fields: The fields of study most relevant to the sector are engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, and all the Technology fields.
Required Skills: Communication, problem-solving skills, logical and objective thinking, creativity, enthusiasm, time management, organizational, project management, and presentation.
Employment in the ICT sector is on the rise throughout Europe. With the growth in the employment of ICT specialists averaging 3% over the ten-year period between 2006-2015, which is more than eight times higher than the average growth rate for total employment over the same period. Over the last two
The Legal Sector
The legal sector comprises any legal activities for profit and encompasses a wide range of services and products. As a result of globalization legal services have become a necessary part of any modern international business, the need for legal documentation, sanctioned applications, and business structuring have become integral parts of any successful modern business, making the legal sector indispensable. It has become so indispensable, that the sector has become one of the most profitable and lucrative professions globally. Currently, the European legal sector is the second largest in the world behind only the United States.
Employment in the sector is uncommon for researchers as it is limited to law degree holders. Researchers in the sector mostly work as legal scholars and teachers. There are also a few positions in the sector for researchers that don't require law degrees such as civil service legal researchers, legal publishers, and legal librarians, however, these types of positions in the sector are rare.
Research Fields: Law.
Required Skills: Negotiation, commitment, interpersonal, organizational, accuracy, detail oriented, professionalism, flexibility, analytical, and problem-solving.
The sector employs only 1.436 million Europeans, making the sector a relatively small employer. However, its $156.7bl annual contribution to the European economy more than makes up for its relatively small size. The sector is undergoing sustained growth and as such employment opportunities have been following suit, with lots of new legal sector jobs becoming available each year. In addition to growth in the sector and in employment, compensation in the sector is quite high and is fast becoming one of the highest in the European economy.
The Life Science and Pharmaceutical Sector
The Life Science and Pharmaceutical sector
Researchers are extremely common in the Life Science and Pharmaceutical sector, Ph.D.'s/Postdocs are highly valued making employment for researchers abundant. Often Ph.D.'s serve as a useful way for researchers to distinguish themselves from other potential job candidates. Having a Ph.D./Postdoc also often allows for accelerated upward mobility in the employee hierarchy in large companies. Researchers often work in clinical trials, manufacturing, supply, marketing, medical sales, R&D, finance, and human resources.
Research Fields: Biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomedical science, chemistry, food science, genetics, microbiology, pharmacology, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, materials engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, and mathematics
Required Skills: Problem-solving, objective thinking, commercial awareness, communication, interpersonal, creativity, enthusiasm, IT, numeracy, time management, organizational, project management, presentation, research, and teamwork.
Positions for researchers in the sector are extremely well compensated, there is an abundance of open positions geared towards researchers in the sector. Most of the positions for researchers in the sector require researchers to conduct research and often mirror research positions in the Higher Education sector. The majority of researchers in the sector work for large companies/corporations.
The Manufacturing Sector
Manufacturing, which loosely constitutes the production of goods using machinery is a prominent economic sector worldwide. In Europe, the Manufacturing sector is one of the oldest and most prominent economic sectors and since the industrial revolution, the manufacturing sector has been at the forefront of the European economy. Today is no exception, with the manufacturing sector remaining one of the largest economic sectors in Europe. However, this is set to change, due to the proliferation of new technologies and the move by Western economies away from manufacturing towards more service-based economies. Furthermore, global trends such as declining energy prices, diminishing global resources, increased competition from emerging markets, and an aging European workforce have all contributed to slow growth and decline in the sector.
The manufacturing sector boasts a large number of employment positions for researchers, much of which is driven the sector's need to produce more and better products for less. In order to do this, manufacturing companies require large R&D departments which in turn require a lot of researchers. It is specifically here, in R&D departments that researchers can find significant employment and career opportunities in the sector. Employment in manufacturing R&D departments is for the most part well paid with salaries being larger than similar positions in other sectors.
Research Fields: Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry, and biology.
Required Skills: Planning, organizational, leadership, cooperation, teamwork, decision-making, analytical, and precision.
The sad truth is that the manufacturing sector is declining due in large part to the rising cost of European labor in relation to the rest of the world and proliferation of advanced manufacturing techniques which render many workers redundant. Despite declining employment in the sector, there are still well-paying manufacturing jobs to be found. These jobs can be found for the most part in Central and Eastern Europe with the manufacturing revival in these parts of Europe. Additionally, while the advancement of manufacturing technology may have impacted low skilled workers negatively. It has also increased demand for highly-skilled workers in the sector, especially for implementation, quality assurance, and technical jobs.
The Mining & Energy Sector
The Energy sector, covers the extraction, production, and distribution of energy products and the Mining sector, covers the act of extracting minerals from the earth, together they comprise one of Europe’s oldest economic sectors. The global population and global trade have skyrocketed, which has significantly increased demand for mining and energy products. The European Mining and Energy sector is growing quickly in Europe but is limited by natural resource supplies and strict extraction laws in Europe. Additionally, today, the sector is one of Europe’s most modern and innovative.
The Mining & Energy sector is often associated with blue collar jobs and semi-skilled labor. However, there is a significant number of employment opportunities for researchers and Ph.D. holders in the sector. Energy and Mining companies are constantly attempting to meet exploding global demand and have been realizing that their old forms of production are outdated. This had led Energy and Mining companies, especially in Europe, to adopt new technologies in order to meet global demand and to cope with environmental issues, diminishing resources, and efficiency realities. This constant drive for new technologies has opened the doors for researchers in the sector, as they are integral to R&D and technology innovation.
Research Fields: Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, geology, physics, environmental studies, and mineralogy.
Required Skills: Organizational, logistical, safety, operations management, hands-on ability, precision, development, innovation, problem-solving, analytical, and resource management.
While employment opportunities in the sector have changed with changing technological factors, the demand for mining and energy goods remains strong in Europe and globally. As such, employees in the Mining & Energy sector can look forward to strong employment and competitive salaries.
The Publishing & Media Sector
Publishing is defined as, “the business or profession of the commercial production and issuance of literature, information, musical scores or sometimes recordings, or art." While often overlooked, the publishing sector is a significant part of the European economy and is one of the largest in the world. Interestingly, eight out of ten of the world’s largest publishing groups are European.
It is impossible to give an exact definition of the media sector due to
The number of positions for researchers in the publishing and media sector varies, with publishing having a number of employment opportunities and media less so. Work experience is at a premium in the media sector, which is often a hindrance to researchers who have been unable to work throughout their studies. For researchers looking to pursue a career in media, it is advisable to seek an entry position in the beginning and then to pursue a more suitable position later in their career. Unlike media, publishing has quite a number of positions for researchers. Most of which is in academic and non-academic publishing and editorial work and the management of publishing systems.
Research Fields: All fields can find work in the sector the most prevalent of which are communications, journalism, statistics, IT, and media studies.
Required Skills: Critical analysis, research, commercial & cultural awareness, initiative, teamwork, flexibility, and organization.
An extremely popular career choice, opportunities in the sectors are few and far between with strong competition for every vacancy. This can be attributed to the fact that the sector is becoming more efficient as a result of new technologies. Where once it would take large staffs to produce publishing & media content, it is taking fewer employees than ever before. Therefore, while the sector is growing, employment is not necessarily following suit. Due, to the difficulty in finding gainful employment in the sector the ability to have practical work experience is at a premium and can be vital to gaining significant employment in the sector. Those lucky enough to find gainful employment in the media sector can look forward to high salaries whereas those in the publishing sector, for the most part, cannot, except for high-level positions such as editors.
The Transport & Storage Sector
The Transport & Storage sector is one of Europe’s largest and most prominent economic sectors. While often overlooked for more recognizable sectors such as finance or manufacturing the transport sector permeates the lives of almost every European daily and is necessary for the successful operation of almost every other economic sector. It is estimated that the mobility sector, of which Transport & Storage is a significant part, is the largest single economic sector in the world. It is hard to give a precise definition of what the Transport & Storage sector is, but it includes such industries as passenger and cargo transport, tourism transport, and warehousing and goods storage and is a such one of Europe's fastest growing sectors.
Researchers in the Transport and Storage sector are uncommon; however, they can be found in two main areas within the sector, in R&D
Research Fields: Science and engineering.
Required Skills: Communication, mobility, organizational/strategic planning, flexibility, problem-solving, innovation, and adaptability.
The Transport & Storage sector is expanding at a rapid pace which has directly led to the need for a large influx of employees/workers into the sector. In recent years the sector has been unable to find enough new workers and employees. Which can be attributed to two main factors, the first being that the European population is aging and the second is that the sector has a negative perception amongst the European workforce. The sector has more employment positions than it can fill and anyone who seeks a job in the sector can almost undoubtedly find one. However, currently jobs for researchers are still quite limited but that is changing quickly.