Opportunities for PhD scholars through digitization?

I'm doing my PhD in a humanities subject - and I'm afraid of ending up as a taxi driver after graduation. Especially the increasing digitization scares me, because I suppose that at some point only graduates with programming skills will be needed. Will I improve my chances in the labor market if I take a computer course in SAP or something similar?


Good morning Mrs. G.,

You are perfectly right in assuming that digitization will change the labor market. However, not automatically to your disadvantage. Of course, many programmers are needed, but people are also sought, who can build a bridge between man and machine, who can manage projects and interfaces and who can work together empathetically in interdisciplinary teams. And these qualities and abilities are especially attributed to humanities scholars. So, if you're looking for a non-academic job after graduation, then it's important that you develop your transferable skills during and with the PhD. Of course you already do that with the doctorate. Courses in project management, time management and communication are a good complement to this. "Digital" skills that you can use everywhere are, above all, a very good command of office applications such as Word, excel and Power Point, and to be familiar with the Internet and with social media. Also, English language proficiency is becoming increasingly important in a global economy. Specialist skills such as SAP are best targeted at when they are needed for a specific task. Your employer will help you if you can demonstrate that you are motivated and able to quickly and effectively learn about new ways of working and techniques. And you probably already proved this in your PhD.

An  interesting report on the opportunities of humanities scholars in times of digitization can also be found here.

The Graduate Academy offers useful seminars for the development of interdisciplinary competencies and is available to you with personal advice at any time.

I wish you all the best for your personal and professional development!

Alex Guericke-Sommer

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