Teaching capabilities of doctoral graduates

Should we realign the learning outcomes of PhD programs with employers’ expectations?
Monday, September 21, 2020 - 09:00

Adam Keeley, a PhD student in the School of Business at Maynooth University, recently presented his paper “Teaching capabilities of doctoral graduates: Should we realign the learning outcomes of PhD programs with employers’ expectations?” at the  Academy of Management virtual conference. The paper is co-authored with  Dr. Olga Ryazanova and Prof Peter McNamara and focuses on the mismatch between higher education institutions’ expectations and early career academics’ capabilities during the recruitment process. To explore this phenomenon, the authors conducted a systematic literature review and found that, while teaching capabilities are desired by multiple disciplines and across regions, the level of capability required varied among fields of study. We also found that PhD students and early career academics are not required to undertake formal teacher training, leading them to rely on trial and error while in the classroom. Many academics believe that higher education institutions are responsible for providing this training, with the particular focus on the development of teaching efficacy, identity, and motivation through real-world scenarios. 
These findings call for a realignment of PhD learning outcomes with labour market expectations. Opening a dialogue between business school decision-makers and PhD programme directors can identify recruitment expectations and how these may form a part of the PhD programme.