What is a doctorate?
A doctorate, which takes three years to complete, is the highest university qualification awarded. It is synonymous throughout the world for excellence. All students holding a master’s degree or a degree from an engineering graduate school can apply to take doctoral studies.
The doctoral degree is undertaken in a doctoral school, with research work carried out in research laboratories and sometimes in conjunction with a company. Doctoral students are guided by a thesis supervisor. A doctorate is a professional experience. Doctoral candidates wear the hats of both researcher and student; they receive a stipend during the preparation of their thesis.
What are the career prospects after a doctorate?
Doctoral graduates who would like to enter academia can seek employment as a lecturer or choose to carry out a post-doctorate, which is genuine experience to assist them in obtaining a research position at an institution (like the French National Centre for Scientific Research).
PhD holders can also choose to enter the private sector in France or abroad, usually taking up a managerial position. In some large international groups, a doctorate is a pre-requisite for gaining a researcher position in the R&D department.
Moreover, the École Centrale de Lyon offers doctoral students the opportunity to follow a "Skills for business" course in order to help them acquire a certain number of skills expected by companies and improve their professional integration in the private sector. This one-year training consists of a "theoretical" part of 70 hours to be composed according to a wide range of modules (intellectual property, entrepreneurship, labor law, management, project management, etc.) and a "hands-on" with a minimum of 30 hours of mandatory business experience.
For further information on doctorates at École Centrale de Lyon, visit the Research section of this website.