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South African PhD graduates face tricky labour market


Many forced to settle for jobs outside their area of expertise, study finds

Almost all South African PhD graduates find employment, but many have to settle for jobs outside their fields or become “permadocs” (people who do back-to-back postdocs) because the system is becoming saturated with graduates, a study has found.

Johann Mouton, a scientometrics professor at Stellenbosch University who led the study, told a session at Science Forum South Africa last week that only 2 per cent of graduates said they could not find a job. But one in five found a job outside their area of expertise, mainly because they felt it was their only option, he told the 2 December session..

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