We post every so often in this blog on academic careers as it’s a topic of interest to many PhD students. Although we usually focus on the UK context we are aware that academic careers are global. So you may be interested in an article in Times Higher Education that talks about career progression routes in different European countries (and adds in the USA for comparison!).
For example, I was interested to note that in Germany 68% full-time academic staff are on temporary contracts and permanent positions are normally only available at professor level. While it may be difficult to get a lecturing job here in the UK, compared to Germany it is possible to be in a ‘permanent’ job at a much earlier stage of the career ladder. But things are changing and countries such as Germany are introducing new tenure-track positions to encourage the ‘best’ researchers to commit to a career in German Higher Education. A handful of UK universities have done the same thing over the last few years, with the introduction of 5 year fellowships leading to full, permanent academic posts dependent on performance (e.g. Chancellor’s Fellows here at the University of Edinburgh plus similar positions in Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and others).
These changes aren’t making it any less competitive to progress in an academic career but they are an attempt to introduce some security earlier in the career.
So if you are interested in pursuing an academic career, and you are prepared to be geographically mobile, then the article is worth a read to get a picture of the sort of opportunities available across Europe. You can also browse academic jobs in Europe here.
(And if you are really interested there is further detail in the League of European Research Universities – LERU – paper ‘Tenure and Tenure Track at LERU Universities: Models for Attractive Research Careers in Europe‘).