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Advanced Information Research Skills

Engage with industry

Industry engagement is increasingly important to future careers of HDR students, whether or not they intend to work in academia. Employers from all sectors report that researchers who apply for jobs have difficulty articulating the skills they have gained during their research degrees from the research itself (Edge & Munro, 2015; McGagh et al., 2016; Nous Group & Australian Technology Network of Universities, 2017). At the same time, demand for transferable skills like digital literacy and critical thinking has grown over recent years (Foundation for Young Australians, 2016) and employers are also reporting difficulties in finding employees that deliver the skills they need (Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, 2012).

To be career-ready you will need to demonstrate that you have, and can put into practice, transferable skills such as: 

  • Project management  
  • Problem solving 
  • Collaboration 
  • Communication 
  • Teamwork  
  • Digital literacy 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Leadership – and many more 

Industry experience

iPREP WA is an Industry and PhD Research Engagement Program allowing postgraduates to gain industry experience at the end of their PhD program. The initiative is a collaboration between the five universities in Western Australia, so is available to students studying through the Fremantle and Broome campuses of Notre Dame. See information on the iPrep Biodesign site.

Further reading

Australian workforce and productivity agency. (2012). Australia’s skills and workforce development needs. 

Edge, J., & Munro, D. (2015). Inside and outside the academy: Valuing and preparing PhDs for careers.

Foundation for Young Australians. (2016). The new basics: Big data reveals the skills young people need for the New Work Order.

McGagh, J., Marsh, H., Western, M., Thomas, P., Hastings, A., Mihailova, M., & Wenham, M. (2016). Review of Australia’s research training system. Australian Council of Learned Academies: Melbourne, Australia.

Nous Group, & Australian Technology Network of Universities. (2017). Enhancing the value of PhDs to Australian industry: Report.