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Private Sector

In the private sector

A very wide range of different career-paths are open to PhD holders. People with doctoral backgrounds also have an enormous range of different types of skills and expertise, depending on their discipline. We can draw a loose distinction between the for-profit sector, which includes manufacturing and services, and the non-profit sector, which includes charities and hospitals. 

For-profit sector


Technological innovation relies on Reseach and Development. This takes place for the most part in large companies, but also happens in some cutting-edge SMEs. R&D services either exist already in companies, or else they need to be developed from scratch. 

When it comes to your job search, you are most likely to find employment through unsolicited applications. We therefore highly recommend that PhD holders send unsolicited applications to prospective employers: the website of the Union Wallonne des Entreprises has a list of companies organised by sector, which makes it easy to search and find the most appropriate companies to get in touch with.

"Spin-offs" generally carry out innovative and cutting-edge research, and can offer attractive job prospects to PhD holders. 

Some researchers dream of founding their own companies. Our Creating your own job page lists websites that could help with the start-up process. 

Service sector companies

PhD holders also work in companies that develop intellectual property, such as think-tanks, banks, insurance companies, consultancies, specialist publishing houses, or charities. 

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