The paper addresses the processes and outcomesof doctoral training and their impact on thesubsequent careers and work affiliations ofdoctoral degree holders on the bases of theresults of the first large scale survey amongthis target group in Germany. It assesses theGerman experience with the doctoral degree as aticket to multiple journeys on the labourmarket inside and – quantitatively moreimportant – outside academe. Links between`traditional' inequalities in the framework ofthe equality of opportunity discourse,`non-traditional' inequalities in the frameworkof the life-cycle discourse, transition toemployment and advanced career stages, areaddressed. The overall picture that derivesfrom the survey results shows a quite positiveoutcome of the PhD on the labour market. By andlarge, PhD matters if we compare doctoraldegree holders and graduates. Selectionfor doctoral training is biased by socialorigin while later career attainment amongPhD-holders is not. Thus, the `need ofinequality' is mainly satisfied by respectiveselection processes within the educationalsystem. In contrast, the analysis supports the`entry-job hypotheses' that suggests asignificant impact of early career stages onlater stages. The analysis shows as well that adeviation from continuous full-time employmentis a clear career hindrance.