Moving on in Your Career: A Guide for Academic Researchers and Postgraduates

Moving on in Your Career: A Guide for Academic Researchers and Postgraduates

Moving on in Your Career: A Guide for Academic Researchers and Postgraduates

Moving on in Your Career: A Guide for Academic Researchers and Postgraduates

Synopsis

In today's highly competitive job market a higher degree will not necessarily lead to a career in higher education. Researchers need to know how to enhance their career prospects and how to look further into the wide range of career options open to them elsewhere.Moving On in Your Career shows researchers what is required to make a continuing career in academic research or lecturing and gives advice on taking alternative career paths. The authors draw on their expertise in careers guidance in higher education to outline the various options in which researchers can use the skills they have developed in university. They advise on sources of advertised and unadvertised vacancies and how to use methods such as speculative applications and the Internet. They also provide practical exercises and ideas on how to enhance essential job-search and self-presentation skills.With its special focus on the skills acquired through academic research and how to use them to pursue a wide variety of career options, this book will prove invaluable for postgraduate students and researchers, as well as careers advisors responsible for students and researchers.

Excerpt

As we approach the twenty-first century, the rate of change in society, in technology, in all our affairs, is remarkable. The Economist captured the necessity for universities to adapt to this volatile, competitive environment when it wrote in its 20 June 1992 edition:

The universities are destined to change more in the next five years than they have done in the previous half-century…This pell-mell expansion will soon require the universities to rethink everything from how they teach to where they get their income.

It is therefore essential that all universities, large and small, old or new, research-led or training and teaching-led, have a strategic planning process in place where the emphasis is clearly on innovation and creativity and staff development.

Left to themselves, however, organisations would change very little, because their members have two over-riding needs: for stability and security. Many members of staff have traditionally placed a lot of energy into keeping things as they are, a dynamic conservatism if you will. In academe, in former years, such people would rush to the barricades to defend hallowed traditions and ideas. Indeed their notion of a satisfactory future was a return to the idealised past. How times have changed!

Due to the rapid and spectacular advances in communications and information technologies we are moving towards what some have called the ‘Information Society’, but which is better termed the ‘Knowledge Society’. In this environment, success will depend crucially on the ability of individuals to be adaptable, to learn new skills and to make sense of an abundant quantity of information. Knowledge is information put to work; it is about understanding: it is what enables people to make judgements, interpret events, solve problems and create new products and services.

In an academic environment there can be widespread resentment of corporate approaches to university management and to central oversight of academic activities. Selectivity can appear quite confrontational to cherished academic icons of collegiality and the notion that all academics should be treated equally.

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