The purpose of this paper is to investigate PhD student perceptions of the importance of enterprise skills and the extent to which they are currently being developed within a case university.
The study employed an electronic survey of 500 PhD students across six faculties, and 128 useable responses were returned. Students were asked to rate the importance of a range of enterprise skills and attributes derived from the literature, plus the extent to which these skills and attributes had been developed through their programme of study.
The majority of PhD students recognise the importance of enterprise skills and attributes, particularly those associated with communication, confidence, achieving outcomes, determination and problem solving. Whilst some enterprise skills and attributes are developed well through PhD study, others – such as managing finance and people – are not. A number of these are skills that might be particularly relevant to early‐career PhD graduates.
The research is limited to one case institution, and further research is required to investigate how the training and development gaps identified might be best addressed.
The study examines enterprise education within the novel context of postgraduate research studies. It identifies a need to re‐examine our approach to the training and development of PhD students in order to address their evolving career needs.
Lean, J. (2012), "Preparing for an uncertain future: the enterprising PhD student", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 532-548. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626001211250261Download as .RIS
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