Entrepreneurial Skills Boost Scientists’ Income Significantly

(ORDO NEWS) — This conclusion was reached by specialists from the National Research University Higher School of Economics. The most financially successful were 50-70-year-old scientists specializing in the natural or technical sciences, who not only have an entrepreneurial streak, but also constantly apply such skills.

Experts from the HSE ISSEK conducted a study on the impact of entrepreneurial skills on the social stratification of specialists working in R&D organizations. The preprint of the work can be found on the website of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Entrepreneurial skills are of particular importance in the field of research and development, since the practical application of the results of the work of a scientist depends on them. At the same time, entrepreneurship is a skill that is not formally a mandatory component of the profession of a scientist.

In the course of the study, scientists used the methodology of the international project Careers of Doctorate Holders ( CDH ), conducted under the auspices of the OECD , Eurostat and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The sample – stratified multi-stage – was 1742 people.

During the implementation of the project, the standard names of entrepreneurial skills used by the OECD, as well as those indicated at one of the World Economic Forums ( WEF-2015 ), were reformulated into questions for respondents.

The authors also used a comprehensive index aimed at assessing the level of entrepreneurial skills of scientists according to seven indicators: putting forward new ideas, developing new products, technologies; finding practical application of the results obtained; establishing, maintaining and developing relationships and cooperation with colleagues, partners from other organizations; project management: planning and control of work implementation, resources, deadlines, cost; independence in work: accomplishment of the task on time and with available resources; training, retraining, mastering new methods, technologies, installations, etc.; public presentation (to customers, partners, buyers) of the results of work, a new product, service.

In addition to the simple fact of mastering one or another skill, it was necessary to understand its real application in practice, which was assessed on a five-point Likert scale: the lowest score was assigned for the statement “I do not use this skill in my professional activities”, and the maximum for the statement “I I use this skill all the time in my professional life.”

As the main variables, in addition to the level of entrepreneurial skills, the academic degree, scientific specialization, scientific productivity (publications), average annual income, age, gender, position in the main job , employment sector (higher education, public sector, business), availability extra work in the business sector.

The results of the analysis revealed several groups of researchers with different levels of proficiency and application of entrepreneurial skills in their work. Scholars with the most advanced entrepreneurial skills constitute a separate group, accumulating the highest professional achievements in R&D.
They typically hold advanced degrees in engineering, science, or mathematics, publish actively, and hold senior positions in their organizations or departments.

In addition to their main job, they often have one or two side jobs in the business sector. It can be contract work in commercial companies, freelance, consulting, individual entrepreneurship. The age of researchers varies from 50 to 70 years, most often they are men. This group has the highest average annual income in the sample – from 1,100,000 rubles or more.

The income level of those who periodically apply entrepreneurial skills in their work ranges from 500,000 to 1,000,000 rubles. Finally, researchers who rarely or never use entrepreneurial skills in their professional activities earn on average 300,000 to 500,000 rubles or less. Most often, this group included young researchers, women, humanities and agricultural scientists working in the public or educational sector.

A link was also established between scientific productivity and entrepreneurial skills. Scientists who regularly use them show higher publication activity.

The authors note that in the following studies, it is important to analyze whether there is an intangible reward for the use of entrepreneurial skills by researchers, for example, in the form of recognition in society.


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