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Career placement of Inria PhDs

Fabrice Martin, translation by Cynthia Schoch

The French National Institute for Computer Science and Control (INRIA) has just completed a study on the career placement of its PhDs (class of 2005). An overall very positive report.

The survey pertained to 277 PhDs who had done their thesis in one of the Institute research teams and defended it in 2005.

18 months on average after receiving their degree, the report on their professional integration inspires optimism at the very least: only 2.6% are unemployed and among those with a job, 88% declare their position to suit their career objectives.

Public sector oriented career objectives
Despite a particularly dynamic job market in the private sector, three-quarters of INRIA PhDs work in the public sector, over half of them on a fixed-term contract. This situation shows the great attractivity of academic research and higher education for INRIA PhDs.

INRIA, the reference
The qualitative side of the survey is also flattering for INRIA, since 84% of respondents believe they have acquired scientific expertise that is vital to their job hunt, 88% say their position matches their career objectives and 92% state they are eager to keep in touch with the institute. With ulterior motives, however: 78% want to be kept informed about career opportunities at INRIA...

We might note, however, that although 45% declare having benefited from the INRIA network of relationships in their job search, many also wish they had received more advice and guidance.

To end on a minor regret: only 49% of the INRIA PhDs believe the doctorate was a professional experience that constitutes “an asset in their career path.” But in areas where technical expertise is worth its weight in gold, it may not always be necessary to advertise all the wealth you’ve accumulated along the way...