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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Countries With The Most Doctoral Students

Education Is Key To Economic Growth.

And tertiary education in particular, is at the heart of the innovation that we see around us. New discoveries such as MP3 and GPS technology would never have happened were it not for PhD research.

Countries are investing in their higher education systems, and more people than ever before are completing doctoral degrees. But which country has the most doctoral scholars?

The US beats the rest hands down
According to an OECD report, the US has at least twice as many PhD graduates as Germany, its nearest rival.
In 2014, 67,449 people graduated with a PhD in the US, compared with 28,147 in Germany. Next in line is the United Kingdom, which just pips India into third place with 25,020 PhD graduates. India had 24,300.
Although fifth on the list, Japan only has a quarter of the PhD graduates that the US has, with 16,039.
In sixth and seventh place, France and South Korea have 13,729 and 12,931 respectively. Spain and Italy, in eighth and ninth, have a similar number, 10,889 and 10,678 respectively.
Australia is in 10th place with 8,400. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that if we looked at the numbers per head of the population, the top of table might look rather different.

There are more new doctorates worldwide
OECD figures also show that the number of doctoral graduates has increased worldwide in the last two decades. The majority of graduates are from OECD countries.

Large emerging economies have expanded their higher education training capacities, says the report, as shown by India’s high position with 24,300 doctoral graduates.
Certain scientific fields are more popular among PhD scholars. About 40% of new doctorates awarded in the OECD area are in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and this percentage increases to 58% of all new graduates if doctorates in health are included. Doctoral programmes are particularly oriented towards natural sciences and engineering in France (59%) Canada (55%) and China (55%), according to the report.

Among other trends noted in the report were the increasing digitalization and internationalization of research, ushering in an era of a global knowledge economy.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The job market in Italy

What are your chances of getting a job?
Italy was hit hard by the international financial crisis and is still recovering. This has had an impact on certain job sectors, such as automotive engineering, finance and construction, as well as unemployment figures, particularly among the young. There are still opportunities, however,  in tourism, green technology, mechanical engineering, Electronics, Renewable Engineering, IT. Non-EU graduates will be in competition with Italian nationals. Non-EU citizens may find it difficult to obtain a job without a good knowledge of Italian.
For jobs other than English teaching, and possibly IT, a good knowledge of Italian is essential. German, French and Slovenian are also spoken in the regions of Italy that border the respective countries. Making use of any personal contacts you have and networking will also greatly improve your chances.
Where can you work?
·         Major industries: tourism, machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, fashion, clothing and footwear, ceramics, wine.
·         Major companies: Enel (power), Eni (integrated energy company), Fiat, Finmeccanica (aerospace and defence), Generali Group (insurance), Intesa Sanpaolo (banking), Luxottica Group (eyewear), Pirelli, Telecom Italia, UniCredit Group (banking).

Whats it like working in Italy?
·         Average working hours: 40 hours per week.
·         Holidays: a minimum of four weeks' annual leave, in addition to 11 national public holidays.
·         Tax rates: are progressive and range from 23% to 43%.
Applying for jobs
You don't need to be in Italy to apply for a job, as vacancies are often advertised online. However, your chances will improve if you're in the country as networking and making personal contacts are common ways of finding employment.
Applications are made using a CV and covering letter or the application form provided by the company. Speculative applications are common and should give an indication of why you would like to work for the company and what you can offer them. Your CV and all letters of application should be in Italian unless otherwise stated. You should also have your university degree and certificates translated into Italian. Online application forms are more usual with large international companies that have a presence in Italy.
The interview process can be long, taking between one to three months to complete, as there may be three or four interviews. Make sure you know how long the recruitment period will be beforehand. As in the UK, some interviews may involve psychometric or other types of testing. Be honest about the level of your Italian language skills in your application as these will be tested at interview.
The application and interview processes in Italy are similar to those used in the UK.
Vacancy sources
Job websites
·         Cambio Lavoro – job listings (in Italian).
·         Clicca Lavoro – job listings (in Italian).
·         Cliclavoro – website of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Welfare in Italy. Provides a list of job centres (centri per l’impiego), job vacancies and CV-posting service for jobseekers (in Italian).
·         EURES – European Job Mobility Portal – provides information about job vacancies, living and working conditions, and labour markets in Italy, as well as a CV-posting service for jobseekers.
· – job listings for graduates (in Italian).
·         Primolavoro – specialises in first jobs for new graduates (in Italian).
Recruitment agencies
Recruitment agencies are listed in the Pagine Gialle (Italian Yellow Pages). Use the search term: ‘lavoro interinale e temporane’.

·         Corriere Della Sera
·         Il Sole 24 Ore
·         La Repubblica
·         La Stampa

Other sources
·         Job centres (centri per l'impiego) can also help in your search for work. Register with a centre in the area where you're living.
·         Guidance services at universities (servizi di orientamento) are available to students studying in Italy.
·         Family businesses still make up a large portion of the businesses, particularly in smaller urban and rural areas. Personal contacts are, therefore, important – a lot of work is found by word of mouth. Be prepared to apply speculatively to companies and to network extensively. This kind of approach may work particularly well in language schools, hotels and restaurants, particularly in large cities.
·         Contacting relevant trade or professional associations is another way of finding out about opportunities.

Getting work experience


Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020 and covers student exchange, work experience and volunteering opportunities. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students can study abroad for 3 to 12 months. Erasmus+ also provides opportunities for work experience for students to learn new skills or languages, as well as volunteering in different countries for between 2 weeks and 12 months.

Exchange programmes

The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience  provides students on technical degrees (primarily science, engineering, technology and the applied arts) with paid course-related training in a range of countries, including Italy. Opportunities are available to students in their second year of study or above. Although the majority of traineeships take place over the summer, longer periods are also available.
AIESEC  provides an international exchange programme for students and recent graduates. They offer voluntary and paid work placements in professional organisations, schools and charities in a range of countries, including Italy. Main areas of work are in teaching, marketing and IT. Internships last between 6 weeks and 18 months.

Teaching schemes

The British Council – Language Assistants programme provides the opportunity for UK-based students who are native-level English speakers to work in Italy as an English language assistant. You need to be  aged 30 or under, have passed two years of university-level education by the time you start your assistantship and have a minimum Italian language qualification at AS level or equivalent
If your university has a department for foreign languages or equivalent, you may be able to pick up useful advice, guides and contacts on teaching opportunities available in Italy.

Living in Italy
·         Cost of living: varies between the relatively wealthy north and the much poorer south. In cities, the cost of living is similar to the rest of Western Europe but tourist areas can be expensive.
·         Internet domain: .it
·         Currency: Euro (€)
·         Health: healthcare in Italy is of a good standard. EU citizens should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)before travelling, which gives access to healthcare under the same conditions as nationals. Also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance.
·         Type of government: parliamentary, democratic republic. Italy has a long history of short-lived coalition governments.
·         Laws and customs: you must be able to show some form of identification if requested by the police or judicial authorities. Crime rates are generally quite low, but there's a risk of petty theft in the major cities, particularly around rail, sea and air terminuses. In Venice and Florence you may be fined for dropping litter. It's also illegal to eat and drink or sit on steps near the main churches and public buildings in Florence. Many of the major cities have introduced a small tax on tourists.
·         Emergency numbers: 112 (single European emergency telephone number, available everywhere in the EU free of charge); 113 (police); 115 (fire brigade); and 118 (medical emergencies). British citizens can get help in an emergency from the British Embassy in Italy.
·         People: majority are Italian with German, French and Slovene Italians in the north, and Albanian and Greek Italians in the south. Also immigrants from Romania, Albania and Morocco.

·         Major religion: Christianity.