Over the coming weeks, we will start to share some of the key insights and observations we have identified as part of our work to date on this very interesting subject.
We start by looking at how people came to enter the industry – go to any research industry gathering of experienced researchers and ask how people began their career and I bet you hear the phrase “I fell into it” a number of times.
One of the objectives of our project was to establish whether or not those entering the industry now, have a more planned route into becoming a researcher.
Well both our first quantitative survey and all the qualitative interviews we have undertaken have shown that many people still enter the industry in this unplanned manner (and even still use the same phrase!)
Our quantitative survey showed that for researchers with less than 3 years experience of our industry:-
This was echoed in our 1-1 interviews with young researchers across the globe – regardless of continent or language, the experience of discovering by chance the wide variety of roles and that a career in our industry can offer was a common theme.
So, is this situation a bad thing? – some argue that the adhoc nature of entering the industry is not a bad thing as it allows people to be able to find a home for their talents that perhaps at 6th form or University they were unsure how to direct into a career path.
The counter argument to this is perhaps, how many people don’t ever get the chance to even consider the wonderful world of research because they don’t see any proactive communication or engagement from the industry at the key career decision points in their life? We know from our own experiences and those that we talked to in our study, most people in the population consider a career in research as consisting of standing on a street with a clipboard – as we all know, a career in research offers much more than that!
In the coming weeks we will look at more insights and observations from the research as well as highlighting the ideas for action that our respondents at the various stages of our research are suggesting should be put in place to help the whole industry move forward and shout about the great things it does.