Explore what's out there

banner_2_square_150_res200Once you have explored yourself, the second step is to explore career options that match your values, skills and talents.
This page helps you

  • navigate the job market
  • find the appropriate job platform for doctorate holders in Flanders
  • browse career tracks

The value of your PhD

Why are companies and organisations looking to employ PhD degree holders? Let's listen to what they said during our last Interuniversity Job Market for Young Researchers.

  • Your PhD, and all the related skills you’ve built up along the way, put you in a strong position to continue an academic career or pursue any number of exciting careers outside of academia. Both the private and public sector are made up of a diverse range of organizations recruiting for varied roles. The key is to take the time to explore them and work out which ones are the best match for you. 
  • The vast majority of those who transition into a career outside of academia find their PhD to be a real asset in their new role. Their post-academic careers are driven by the same intellectual challenge, desire to be innovative and the urge to develop and learn, that made them decide to do a PhD in the first place.  
  • Career prospects for PhD holders are excellent: a PhD degree is the highest academic degree one can obtain and there are numerous employers and recruiters out there looking for highly qualified, innovative and agile candidates. The strong demand for PhD holders in a knowledge-based society is borne out by their high employment rate: in OECD countries more than 92% are employed (inside or outside academia), which is higher than any other education level in the working population (OECD, 2019). The talents that made you successful in academia, will equally drive you forward in a job outside academia. 
  • Much like for a new research project, exploring new career horizons is a venture into the unknown. In order to familiarize yourself with what is “out there”, start mapping out and getting to know the labour market.

How to explore what's out there

  • Reach out to and talk to people who have a job or work for an organization that you find interesting. Take a look at your network, it can be a great source to tap inspiration and information from. Connect with former researchers from your research group, department or faculty who are now working in a range of other roles. Hear what tips & tricks they have for you and learn from their successes and lessons learned.
  • Dive into the labour market (academic and/or non-academic) by looking into online and print job resources. Get acquainted with terminology, different kinds of roles, current jobs, job descriptions, job requirements, job profiles, organizational culture(s) etc. After doing some preliminary research, you can start eliminating jobs or organizations that are not a match and get to know more about those that might be a match. This step will help you to narrow down your career preferences and get a clearer insight into what you want career-wise.
  • Much like for a new research project, exploring new career horizons is a venture into the unknown. Though it may seem daunting at first, taking what you already know and applying it in a different context can lead you to a wider choice of opportunities. Take time to open up and explore your future options in full.

The Flemish Job Portal for doctorate holders

visual PhD Talent Pool

A unique career platform organized by the 5 Flemish universities to better align the supply and demand for PhD Talent. The Pool helps smoothen the transition of skilled PhD degree holders to the labour market, and supports employers in their search for the best employees. Are you looking for career opportunities that match your profile? Do not hesitate to create your profile in the PhD Talent Pool Flanders, upload your CV, and find companies and organisations looking for PhD Talent.

Information for international researchers

Are you nearing the completion of your research and are you thinking about staying and working in Belgium? Different rules apply depending on your nationality and the type of contract you have.

Find out more about the orientation year for students, the single permit for researchers and the single permit in Belgium here.

Browse career tracks

A career in academia                                         A career outside academia                              A career in education                                        Entrepreneurship

Career Stories

Where are those PhD holders now? Read the career stories.

Steps in the career cycle

Explore yourself

The first part is devoted to exploring your own strengths, motivations
and values.

Explore what's out there

The second step is to discover career options in academia and beyond that fit your professional self-understanding.


Step four deals with applying for jobs, including writing your CV and cover letter and preparing for the job interview.


 The third step is all about setting a goal and focusing on how to get there.

A side note: is your dream job out there?

  • We've consciously tried to avoid separating between academic jobs and other types of jobs.
    It's a good idea to keep an open mind and not restrict your focus to one career track only.
    After all, who knows where life will take you. Watch the video in which common myths about
    the career journey are debunked.