Why PhD penetration in corporate SA is so low

A recent study has revealed that only 0.07 percent of more than a million employees permanently employed in South Africa hold a PhD, despite universities reportedly producing 14 155 PhDs in the ten year period from 2002 to 2012.

The study, which looked at the employability of PhD graduates in South Africa, indicates that graduates are struggling to find employment in the country.

According to Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria, PhD graduates are often excluded from the recruitment space because they are seen as overqualified by human resource personnel.

These are exceptionally shocking figures that emphasise incredibly low penetration levels in corporate South Africa.

Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria

Goneos-Malka says that the first part of the study looked at recent PhD graduates from 14 leading South African universities and considered graduates’ perspectives and perceptions of the employment space.

She says that 50 percent of PhD graduates had either experienced, or had peers who had experienced difficulties finding employment.

The findings:

The second part of the study targeted the top 200 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, in addition to other leading companies across diverse sectors of the industry in order to determine the proportion of PhDs employed by the companies. These are some of the findings:

  • Shoprite has 104 000 employees, but only three have a PhD qualification.
  • Steinhoff International has 55 000 employees, but none hold PhDs.
  • Harmony has 30 000 employees, with two PhDs.
  • Woolworths has 25 752 employees, but no PhDs.
  • Netcare has 21 149 employees, with two PhDs.
  • Pick n Pay has 17 688 employees, with no PhD graduates.
  • Lonmin has 28 485 employees, but only one PhD.
  • Mr Price has 13 583 employees, but none with PhDs.
  • MMI Holdings Limited has 15 336 employees, but only one PhD.
  • Massmart has 21 549 employees, with two PhDs.
  • Group Five Limited has 13 022 employees, with two PhDs.
  • Anglo Gold Ashanti has 31 499 employees, with three PhDs.

Goneos-Malka says that there are two exceptions to the generally poor results:

  • ABSA has 30 190 employees with 120 PhDs.
  • Sasol has 30 500 employees with 283 PhDs.

WATCH: Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka advocates for South Africa's support in the PhD employment struggle.

The study is in conjunction with the South African National Development Plan 2030, which aims to produce more than 100 doctoral graduates per million per year by 2030. South Africa currently produces 28 doctoral graduates per million per year.

Goneos-Malka has started an online petition called the #PostgradProtest.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show:


This article first appeared on 702 : Why PhD penetration in corporate SA is so low


Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

What we can expect from SABC after inquiry consolidates

SABC's leadership and parliament has come under fire since the inquiry into the board's fitness to hold office.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

DA calls Jordaan to Parly, HIV awareness dip, Corporate SA's low PhD penetration

DA calls Jordaan to Parly, HIV awareness dip, Corporate SA's low PhD penetration

The big issues out of 702's John Robbie Show and CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies

Popular articles
'This puts pressure on Jacob Zuma to vacate office earlier'

'This puts pressure on Jacob Zuma to vacate office earlier'

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Daniel Silke, Political Economy Analyst at Political Futures Consultancy.

Judge Mlambo: Zuma's application amounts to abuse of judicial process

Judge Mlambo: Zuma's application amounts to abuse of judicial process

EWN Barry Bateman explains the High Court proceeding on President Zuma's application to set aside parts of Madonsela's report.

It's chicken for Joburgers and Durbanites, but what do Capetonians feast on?

It's chicken for Joburgers and Durbanites, but what do Capetonians feast on?

Stephen Grootes spoke to founder and CEO of OrderIn to find out more about South African's eating habits.

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

In 2012 Steinhoff acquired 20% of wealth manager PSG, reportedly infuriating Mouton. Bruce Whitfield interviews him.

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

[LISTEN] Caller challenges Eusebius on land disposition

‘I need you to provide me with an answer' - John from Edenvale, Gauteng