Identifying most important skills for PhD students in Food Science and Technology: a comparison between industry and academic stakeholders

Chelo González-Martínez, Peter Ho, Luis Cunha, Oliver Schluter, Paola Pittia


Nowadays, there is an increasing need of new skills for PhD students to face the future labour market prospects. PhD graduates must have qualities attractive not only in academia but also outside, in both manufacture and service-oriented enterprises, in small innovative companies, and in the civil services and public administration, among others. To know what the needs of these future employees are, is of great importance to be able to improve their personal and academic formation. The aim of this work was, in the framework of the EC-funded ISEKI_Food 4 network, to evaluate the most desirable specific and soft skills that PhD students should acquire by the end of their doctoral studies. To this aim, several surveys were conducted and sent to the different stakeholders (academia and food industry partners) in order to collect the information needed. Results showed that competences related to research skills and techniques, research management, personal effectiveness and communication skills were considered to be the most valuable skills to be acquired by our PhD students to meet the future needs of the labour market.  The importance of these skills was appreciated differently, depending on the stakeholder. To sum up, some recommendations to integrate such valuable skills into the curricula of the PhD student are given.


third cycle studies; skills; generic competences; specific competences

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