Exploring the Perspectives of Faculty Members and PhD Students on Career Prospects and Professional Development: A Qualitative Study

Document Type: Original Article


1 Assosiate Professor, Department of Mother and Child Health, Chronic Diseases (Home Care) Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

2 Assosiate Professor, Department of Public Health, Research Center for Health Sciences, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran 3. PhD Student of health education and health promotion, Department of Public Health, School of Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

4 PhD Student of health education and health promotion, Department of Public Health, School of Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Naser Khosro Institute of Higher Education, Saveh, Iran


Introduction: Universities are academic centers that induce changes in society and students and professors are the most important elements of both the university and society. Therefore, understanding their views about career prospects is of particular importance. Besides, professional development refers to improving the job position along with increasing responsibility. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the views of PhD students and faculty members of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences about career prospects and professional development using a qualitative study approach.
Methods: This study was conducted using a content analysis approach. The participants were faculty members and PhD students of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in the academic year 2016-2017. They were selected through purposive sampling with maximum variation. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the participants. In total, 23 PhD students were interviewed at Hamadan University of Medical Sciences. Each interview lasted from 30 to 45 minutes.
Results: The two main themes (concern for the future and meeting individual needs) and four subthemes were extracted from the PhD students’ data and two main themes (interest in pursuing studies and the inconsistency and inefficiency of educational and professional systems) and three subthemes emerged from the faculty members’ data.
Conclusion: Given the insights from this study, managers of the health system are recommended to pay special attention to ensuring students' career prospects through successful planning for training capable human resources, reforming the educational structure fitting the work environment, teaching entrepreneurial skills, and creating effective employment conditions. Besides, faculty members are among the components of the educational structure of the country, and paying attention to their progress is essential to increase their productivity. Therefore, it is important to recognize the factors affecting their job satisfaction and progress and their optimal performance.


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