On the Question of the Demand for Professional Postgraduate Studies in Russia: Analysis of Data on the Thesis Defenses in Technical Sciences

Keywords: highly qualified personnel, professional postgraduate studies, industrial postgraduate studies, practice-oriented programs, knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, technical sciences


Modern Russian postgraduate school is institutionally oriented towards the reproduction of the personnel potential for science and higher education. Since the career trajectories of a significant part of PhD graduates go beyond the academic labor market, the scientific and pedagogical community is discussing the prospects for the development of the so-called professional postgraduate studies in Russia, which should provide targeted training of highly qualified personnel for knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy and the sphere of intellectual services. The discourse on professional postgraduate studies is focused on the possibility of adapting the effective practices of foreign universities, and, unfortunately, is currently not supported by quantitative data on the demand for such a format of postgraduate training in Russia. The purpose of this study is an empirical analysis of the demand for professional postgraduate studies in the field of technical sciences. Using data on PhD graduates who successfully defended dissertations in technical sciences in 2019 as an example, for the first time a quantitative assessment was made of the prevalence of practice-oriented dissertations, the authors of which are employees of organizations in the knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy. The empirical basis of the study was the publicly available data on the defense of dissertations for the degree of candidate of technical sciences in Russia in 2019 (N=1663). For a detailed analysis, dissertation materials were selected, which contained information about postgraduate studies and the place of employment of dissertators (N=715). As a result of the study, parameters were determined that characterize the degree of prevalence in Russia of practice-oriented dissertations on various disciplinary groups of technical sciences, including: the proportion of PhD graduates employed outside the academic sphere; the proportion of dissertations thematically related to the professional activities of their authors; prevalence of preparation of dissertations on the basis of enterprises of the real sector of the economy; differences in socio-demographic characteristics and publication activity of PhD graduates working on dissertations at universities and in science-intensive business organizations. On the basis of the analysis, a conclusion is made about the expediency of developing professional postgraduate programs in the field of engineering and technology aimed at staffing the innovation sphere, as well as legitimizing the special requirements for these programs and practice-oriented dissertations prepared during their implementation.


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How to Cite
BednyiBoris I., RybakovNikolay V., and KhodeevaNadezhda A. 2023. “On the Question of the Demand for Professional Postgraduate Studies in Russia: Analysis of Data on the Thesis Defenses in Technical Sciences”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December). https://doi.org/10.17323/vo-2023-16712.
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