USIU-Africa don facilitates Doctoral Association of Eastern Africa Annual Workshop

By Prof. Martin Njoroge

Prof. Martin Njoroge, Dean School of Humanities and Social Sciences, USIU-Africa, was the distinguished facilitator during the Doctoral Association of Eastern Africa’s annual workshop hosted by the Association on Friday March 10, 2023. The theme of the workshop was Career Pathing for Doctoral Graduates. He took the participants through the topic: “After doctoral degree, then what?” The Doctoral Association of Eastern Africa (DAEA) brings together academic and professional doctoral holders who are dedicated to the elevation, advancement, support and sustainability of doctoral education in Eastern Africa. DAEA provides a unique platform to vigorously advance the rigor, breadth and depth of doctoral and post-doctoral education in the Eastern African Region.

During the workshop, Prof. Njoroge observed that a doctoral degree demonstrates advanced knowledge and expertise in a particular field. He noted that the doctoral journey, however, is a long and lonely path but worth all the sweat at the end of the day because successful completion of the doctoral studies opens many exciting opportunities. Despite the importance of doctoral degree, he added, only 1% of the world’s population has it (Coldron, 2022). Interestingly, most common direction for Doctoral graduates is academia but there are other avenues. It is reported that only 30% of PhD graduates end up in academia three years on (HEPI, 2020). Others transition into industry, the public sectors, NGO world, or become entrepreneurs.

Prof. Njoroge quipped that people pursue doctoral studies for various reasons: as part of academic requirements, for promotion and career growth, for self-actualization, to be a role model, for example to one’s children, to prove a point, because of one’s passion for research or just because one wishes to change career. He advised the attendees to share their doctoral research findings to influence policy and impact the world. Doctoral holders can publish books, book chapters, journal articles, write articles in newspapers or even present the findings at conferences as a way of disseminating the many recommendations in their dissertations. One can also intentionally give talks to postgraduate students or participate in radio and TV talks where findings and recommendations relevant to the focus of the conversations can be shared.

Prof. Njoroge encouraged all the workshop attendees to pursue their career goals by working out the strategies that will work for them to grow after their doctoral studies. Publishing and being active in scholarship, though not easy, will lead to productivity and growth and those who do so reap the benefits that accrue from the same. He advised them to maintain a good rapport with their doctoral supervisors even after graduation because new doctoral holders will need their supervisors to hold their hands as they grow in the world of grant writing, research and scholarship. He concluded by noting that even as one grows academically and professionally after the doctoral studies, one should, at the same time, enjoy life and maintain good relationships with God, family, neighbours and colleagues, being purposeful to live and lead a life that matters. Earlier in the week, Prof. Njoroge had been invited by the Graduate School at Pan Africa Christian University to facilitate a capacity building Webinar on Dissemination of Findings: Publications and Conference Presentations. The Webinar was attended by almost 100 participants who, from their comments, found the conversation timely and impactful.

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