Science and Technology

Why is a PhD so important?

The PhD Open Days 2021 took place from 22nd to 24th November, at Instituto Superior Técnico.

The PhD Open Days 2021 took place from 22nd to 24th November, at Instituto Superior Técnico.

The round table entitled “A successful career with a PhD”, focused on the importance of a PhD degree in professional careers. The various participants shared the same opinion: a PhD is essential for a good performance and rapid career progression.

The Vice president of Técnico for Operations and Enterprise Relationships, professor Pedro Amaral, raised some questions about the role of PhD holders in the future and in professional careers.

According to Paulo Barata, Paper Production and Converting Manager at Navigator Paper Setubal, The Navigator Company “the skills that I gained from my PhD were extremely important to my career plan”. Filipe Gaspar,  Chief Technology Officer at Hovione, shared “I wasn’t planning to do a PhD, but it helped me to gain more knowledge and improve my skills”. António Mósca, Junior Partner at McKinsey & Company, Lisbon Office, highlighted “I had the opportunity to do an MBA, and that was like adding a dream to my work; that’s why a PhD is so important”. Pedro Bizarro, Co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Feedzai, stressed “I created my dream job in which I can continue to do research”.

Pedro Amaral also asked the other participants about the employment of PhD graduates in the industry sector. According to Pedro Bizarro, “what industry looks for in a PhD graduate is the ability to continue innovating”. Filipe Gaspar shared “every time we look for a candidate, we look for someone with a PhD”.

Professor Pedro Amaral also raised some questions related to salaries. In this regard, Paulo Barata said “when I started to work, salaries were no different. Lately, PhD graduates earn more, taking into account their performance”. António Mósca, stressed “Mckinsey highly values PhD graduates. People who enter the consulting firm with a PhD have higher salaries”.

The second day of the event included the round Table entitled “Competitive international projects: personal testimony” and an Out of the Box Session entitled “The uncertainty in knowledge, science and technology”, moderated by José Maria Pimentel, economist and host of “45 Graus” podcast.