An important condition for an innovative economy is getting the right talent at the right place. PhD holders can mean a great added value. In order to consolidate Flanders as an innovative region, PhD candidates are increasingly joining the non-academic labor market. Monitoring the growing diversity in career paths, in the short or long term after obtaining a PhD, is a major challenge that involves many questions.

To meet this need, the PhD Career Track Survey was sent out in 2017 to all PhD holders who obtained a PhD at a Flemish university and whose contact details could be traced by ECOOM Ghent. The survey attempts to formulate an answer to career development and the career paths of PhD holders. Where and how are PhD holders employed? How are the transitions to business and government institutions? Which skills were crucial? Which crucial skills were lacking? Finally career progress and different patterns in the employment sector, pay, responsibility, promotion and working hours are highlighted.

The results are used to support policy, both at the Flemish and at the university level. We report the detailed results of analyses on specific topics in the ecoom briefs. A global overview of the research and interactive visualisation of the results can be found on the website PhD Careers in Flanders.