Skip to main content


Career Journeys

Although relating directly to the lives of young people, the employability agenda and attempts to address the so-called ‘STEM skills gap’ do not appear to take into consideration the very people it intends to affect. This research addressed a limitation in understanding the factors that influence decision-making processes of young people as they make their way from a degree to their future trajectories. I conducted a qualitative, narrative-based longitudinal study over 18 months with eight students from the beginning of their final year on their physics degree to six months after graduation.

  1. D’Silva, S.M. and Pugh, S.L. (2021) The role of emotional geography in graduate transitions from Higher Education in England, Social & Cultural Geography, DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2021.1975163
  2. Sinead D’Silva and Samantha Pugh, ”Understanding the factors that can influence student career decision making” Prospects Luminate (2020)
  3. D’Silva, S.M. and Pugh, S.L. (2020) “Transitioning from Higher Education: Stories from Students in a STEM Discipline,” in Bartram, B. (Ed.)  Understanding Contemporary Issues in Higher Education,  pp.21-31, Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-367-37413-6.
  4. D'Silva, Sinead Marian “The paradox of 'developing' employability: A study of physics students' engagement with their graduate prospects”. PhD Thesis, University of Leeds (2019)

Digital Careers Tools

To inspire students in planning their onward journey in physics a digital Careers Discovery Tool has been created and developed through student internships, with support from the Laidlaw Foundation and the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA).

  1. Voice, A.M., Vaughan, H.L., Madhva, P. and Angelidi, I., Careers Discovery Tool (2021)

White Rose Industrial Physics Academy

The School is a member of the WRIPA consortium, whose main objectives are Enhancing Employability for Physicists through Employer Engagement to retain more physics graduates in the technical sector, thus addressing the national STEM skills gap. This has involved a range of activities and curriculum development, including the introduction of a Group Industrial Project, Physics into Work module and other career development activities embedded within the degree programme.