Túlio Pascoal: ‘‘Working for private companies is valuable for PhDs’’
The job market in Luxembourg is booming. Its private sector is always looking for highly skilled profiles, and PhDs are particularly attuned to recruiters. Added to this is that within the private sector, a PhD is the exception rather than the norm, and you have an opportunity.
In the framework of the Euraxess Luxembourg 2getthere mentoring programme, we met Túlio Pascoal, a Brazilian PhD holder from the Critical and Extreme Security and Dependability group (Critix) of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg, who has found a job in the private sector in Luxembourg.
From academia to private sector is only one step
Túlio Pascoal joined the University of Luxembourg as a PhD student in 2018 from the Federal University of Paraíba in Brazil, where he earned his master's degree in computer science. Since then, he has conducted research with SnT on security and privacy of federated genomic data analysis.
When I completed my Master's degree, Luxembourg was on my radar. The University of Luxembourg and the country itself have a great reputation. I knew that the research environment as well as the living conditions in Luxembourg would allow me to focus on my research. In the end, I found a supportive and welcoming place. So I decided to stay in Luxembourg.
On top of being interested in joining a private employer, Túlio’s decision to sail from academia to the private sector was triggered by the five-year rule in Luxembourg, i.e. the employability of young researchers is limited to five years in total.
Working for private companies is valuable, even if you never aspired to it. Starting a post-PhD career in the private sector allows you to show your ability to put your knowledge and expertise into practice.
Luxembourg private companies value PhD candidates
The Luxembourg National Employment Agency (ADEM) estimates that about 70% of the country’s workforce is made up of foreign nationals or cross-border workers. Luxembourg’s workforce is not only international, it is also highly skilled. According to the 2021 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, Luxembourg is the best performing country in the world for attracting talent. This top spot is mainly due to its external openness and to its high degree of internal openness. As such, Luxembourg private companies offer plenty of opportunities for PhD researchers willing to transition.
Túlio Pascoal will be joining a Swiss/German company that is expanding its activities in Luxembourg, after defending his thesis. While the recruitment process may be a pain point for researchers, Túlio is grateful that his future employer was helpful and caring.
The recruitment process went smoothly. They were very helpful and used to interviewing researchers. During the process, they gave me the opportunity to speak with one of their employees, who is also a former PhD student.
Sharing his own experience, Túlio recommends considering the job search as an ongoing process and preparing as early as possible.
Keep in mind that each interview is an opportunity to improve.
2getthere is a free-of-charge mentoring programme managed by EURAXESS Luxembourg dedicated to PhD candidates who see their future career outside academia in Luxembourg. Discover more about 2getthere.
Read more tips from our 2getthere programme.