Inger Mewburn


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A machine-learning based model to identify PhD-level skills in job ads
Li’An Chen | Inger Mewburn | Hanna Suonimen
Proceedings of the The 18th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association

Around 60% of doctoral graduates worldwide ended up working in industry rather than academia. There have been calls to more closely align the PhD curriculum with the needs of industry, but an evidence base is lacking to inform these changes. We need to find better ways to understand what industry employers really want from doctoral graduates. One good source of data is job advertisements where employers provide a ‘wish list’ of skills and expertise. In this paper, a machine learning-natural language processing (ML-NLP) based approach was used to explore and extract skill requirements from research intensive job advertisements, suitable for PhD graduates. The model developed for detecting skill requirements in job ads was driven by SVM. The experiment results showed that ML-NLP approach had the potential to replicate manual efforts in understanding job requirements of PhD graduates. Our model offers a new perspective to look at PhD-level job skill requirements.


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PostAc : A Visual Interactive Search, Exploration, and Analysis Platform for PhD Intensive Job Postings
Chenchen Xu | Inger Mewburn | Will J Grant | Hanna Suominen
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Over 60% of Australian PhD graduates land their first job after graduation outside academia, but this job market remains largely hidden to these job seekers. Employers’ low awareness and interest in attracting PhD graduates means that the term “PhD” is rarely used as a keyword in job advertisements; 80% of companies looking to employ similar researchers do not specifically ask for a PhD qualification. As a result, typing in “PhD” to a job search engine tends to return mostly academic jobs. We set out to make the market for advanced research skills more visible to job seekers. In this paper, we present PostAc, an online platform of authentic job postings that helps PhD graduates sharpen their career thinking. The platform is underpinned by research on the key factors that identify what an employer is looking for when they want to hire a highly skilled researcher. Its ranking model leverages the free-form text embedded in the job description to quantify the most sought-after PhD skills and educate information seekers about the Australian job-market appetite for PhD skills. The platform makes visible the geographic location, industry sector, job title, working hours, continuity, and wage of the research intensive jobs. This is the first data-driven exploration in this field. Both empirical results and online platform will be presented in this paper.