PhD degree holders conquer the job market

(12-09-2017) On Thursday 28 September 150 PhD candidates will gather at ArcelorMittal Gent to spend a full day exploring career opportunities beyond academe.

On Thursday 28 September no less than 150 PhD candidates will gather at ArcelorMittal Gent to spend a full day exploring career opportunities beyond academe. This year the annual conference organized by Ghent University targets doctoral students from (bioscience) engineering and natural sciences.

PhD’s well equipped

The 10th edition of the conference “From PhD to Job Market” welcomes participants from all five Flemish universities: Ghent University, VUB, University of Antwerp, KU Leuven and UHasselt. The event aims to raise doctoral students’ awareness about the latest labour market trends as well as the great range of career options open to them after obtaining their prestigious degree.

“Press reports often state that PhD degree holders struggle to land non-academic jobs. This is simply not true”, claims Katrien De Gelder from Ghent University. De Gelder and her colleagues organize training and lots of other activities preparing young researchers for a successful career beyond academe.

“A PhD degree is more than just an extra piece of paper: our PhD degree holders have worked for many years in a research group or lab, where they’ve deepened their expert knowledge and developed a broad range of soft skills. The labour market is keen to attract these profiles, yet our PhD candidates need to carefully prepare themselves before they move on to their next job: how do they envision their further careers?”

Different profiles welcome at ArcelorMittal Gent

This is the second time ArcelorMittal Gent hosts this large-scale conference. Like many other companies, ArcelorMittal hires PhD degree holders, who do not only end up in production or maintenance, but also in informatics, automation, engineering or R&D.

“We count on our highly qualified employees, among whom 470 engineers and 66 doctors, to continually optimize our internal processes as well as to meet the ever more demanding requirements of our customers. Therefore, we are really honoured to be given the opportunity to co-organize this event”, says Matthieu Jehl, CEO of ArcelorMittal Belgium. “We especially value the creativity and analytical power of PhD degree holders. They contribute to the outstanding results of our company.”


The conference “From PhD to Job Market: Put your PhD to Work!” takes place on Thursday 28 September 2017 from 9:30 until 17:30 at ArcelorMittal Gent, John Kennedylaan 51, 9042 Gent.

Full conference programme


Katrien De Gelder
Universiteit Gent
Tel.: +32 (0)486 16 70 34

Jan Cornelis
Spokesman - ArcelorMittal Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)9 347 35 72 / +32 (0)499 599 394