ERIC Number: EJ1095951
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Does Holding a Postdoctoral Position Bring Benefits for Advancing to Academia?
Lin, Eric S.; Chiu, Shih-Yung
Research in Higher Education, v57 n3 p335-362 May 2016
Postdoc is a special transitional position for those with a doctoral degree and is usually regarded as an investment to accumulate the additional human and social capital needed to facilitate future job searches or to add to an academic reserve army of unemployed PhDs. Given the prevalence of postdoctoral positions nowadays, it is crucial to explore the role played by postdoctoral participation in the post-PhD labor market. By taking advantage of a comprehensive data set from the National Profiles of Human Resources in Science and Technology in Taiwan, we first explore several characteristics associated with the choice of a postdoctoral position for newly-minted doctoral degree holders, such as age, discipline or the time taken to complete the degree. It is found that older doctorates have a lower probability of taking up a postdoctoral position, and a longer elapsed time to the PhD degree is less likely to result in a postdoctoral position. The postdoctoral engagement also hinges on the field of study, implying that those majoring in Science tend to engage in postdoctoral work more than those majoring in Social Science. The control function approach is utilized to address the possible endogenous decision of postdoctoral experience when estimating the effects of postdoctoral positions on the current career choices between academic and non-academic jobs. The empirical results suggest that engaging in postdoctoral positions could increase the probability of advancing to the academic sector by about 6.1%. The heterogeneous effects of gender, major and cohort in regard to the postdoctoral experience are also found by splitting the data. In particular, gaining postdoctoral experience does help males engineering majors and older cohorts obtain jobs in academia. Moreover, we experiment with several groupings for the definition of being awarded an academic position and obtain very robust empirical results.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Postdoctoral Education, College Graduates, Doctoral Degrees, Intellectual Disciplines, Time to Degree, Gender Differences, Age Differences, Education Work Relationship, Career Choice
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan