Preparing for your future career requires understanding the options that are available to you.
Researching career pathways, exploring jobs in different industries, developing a professional network, and identifying how your skills, interests, and values align with your desired career are essential parts of career exploration.
A range of resources are available for PhD students at Boston University exploring future careers. The Level 1 Career Development Pathway in PhD Progression has step-by-step guides and resources on the topics listed below. Learn more about PhD Progression and register to earn badges in Level 1 here. Badges available in Level 1 Career Development:
- Explore Career Resources
- Career Exploration
- Individual Development Plan
- Building Networks and Managing Online Identity
- Career Conversations with a Mentor
Skillsmatch is a new career exploration tool PDPA is piloting through July 2022. The Skillsmatch tool inventories your current skill set, suggests aligned career families to explore, and provides personalized PhD Progression badge recommendations to fill your skill gaps so that you are prepared for whichever career pathway fits your interests, skills, and values. Learn more and register.
The Career Exploration Resources Table is a non-exhaustive list of career resources organized by social identity. You can also watch a recording of our Career Exploration & Preparation Workshop. Both provide useful starting points for those looking to find general information on both non-academic and academic careers.
Listed below are additional resources for exploring career pathways and finding jobs in both academic and non-academic career tracks.
Explore Career Pathways
UChicago GRAD is a leading program in doctoral professional development. They have developed a series of guides for doctoral students interested in a variety of career pathways. Guides include: Data Science & Analytics, Financial Services, US Government. Higher Education Administration, Industry, and more.
Intersect Job Simulations
InterSECT is an online platform that allows PhD-level scientists and humanists, regardless of professional stage, to explore future career options. Their goal is to provide true-to-life job simulation exercises that help individuals consider what their professional interests and skills are, how those translate to potential careers, and what career options might be available. InterSECT engages with an individual’s interests and extrapolates these interests to positions in actual professional settings in industry, academia, and government sectors. By completing job simulations you can consider which careers are of interest to you and utilize provided resources to explore future courses of action by following up with professionals in the career field.
Imagine PhD Job Families
This page contains information about career paths that are of particular interest to humanities and social sciences PhDs and organized into “Job Families”. Each Job Family contains a description of the types of careers and job titles associated with it, as well as resources for career exploration, building job skills, networking, and applying.
University of California, San Francisco, Career Exploration
UCSF Every Month breaks down different career pathways for each month of the year with resources about job descriptions, gaining experience, networking in specific fields, and more.
MicroSim Job Sims
MicroSim Job Simulations are designed to take student on a job simulation exercise that mimics a task typical of work that a scientist might do in a given profession. They develop MicroSims in collaboration with employers/scientists working in these roles. MicroSims are used as part of UMassMedical School’s curriculum for PhD students.
LinkedIn Career Explorer
The path to a new job isn’t always clear. There are jobs that are a great fit but might seem out of reach, and others you may not even know you have the skills for. LinkedIn is now putting the power of LinkedIn data in your hands: uncover potential career paths and see how your skills match to real job titles.
Expand Your Network
You know that you should be “networking,” but what does that mean? And how can you navigate networking when conferences, lectures, and other events are virtual? During this interactive workshop, attendees will learn the basics of networking, identify the who and what of their own networks, and develop strategies for how to turn “small talk” into more meaningful conversations. Participants will come away from this workshop with the tools to navigate networking and with a better understanding of how to make the most of the networking process.
UC Santa Cruz Networking Strategies and Resources
It’s never too soon to start networking, and your network can never be too large. UC Santa Cruz has compiled a host of resources on everything from informational interviews, to attending networking events, to evaluating your online presence.
Northeastern University Graduate Student Job Search Toolkit
This compilation of resources from NU is a great start for networking tips related to LinkedIn. We also highly recommend Northeastern’s PhD Network resource/short course Building Networks and Managing Online Identity for PhDs
Beyond the Professoriate
Beyond the Prof is full of resources like this blog post that discuss many different strategies for building your network, cultivating your networking skills, and mining your network for potential job leads.
Explore Academic Jobs
The Professor is IN provides guidance for all things PhD, including graduate school, job market and careers.
PhD Career Guide
The PhD Career Guide was developed by graduate students to answer questions about career options. It is also a place where graduate students can discuss their experiences of moving from a student to a professional.
University of Chicago GRAD: Guide to Academic Careers
This UChicago GRAD guide gives a helpful overview of academic careers including job search timelines, and tips for the application process.
Academic Career Readiness Assessment
The Academic Career Readiness Assessment (ACRA) rubric is a tool developed by the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The goal of this tool is to provide graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with the information they need to explore, plan for and apply to faculty positions at different types of institutions, regardless of their understanding of the intricacies of the U.S. education system and independently of the mentoring they receive. The rubric can also be used to inform faculty hiring practices and provide transparency in the faculty hiring process.
NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education – Career Symposium
The Annual NIH Career Symposium aims to highlight the diversity of career choices available to your generation of biomedical researchers. Whether you are a new graduate student, postdoc, or clinical fellow just beginning to consider career options or a senior student/fellow ready to look for a job, the NIH Career Symposium is for you.
Explore Non-Academic Jobs
InterSECT is an online platform that allows PhD-level scientists and humanists, regardless of professional stage, to explore future career options. Our goal is to provide true-to-life job simulation exercises that help individuals consider the following questions: What are my professional interests and skills? How do my interests and skills translate to potential careers? What are my career options? Which careers haven’t I considered?
Beyond the Professoriate
Beyond the Professoriate helps grad students and PhDs leverage their education into meaningful careers, whether in academia or beyond. We have resources to support individuals and partner with institutions to help PhDs and grad students land jobs in: Industry, Non-Profit, Higher Education Administration, Faculty, and the Private Sector.
Beyond Academia is a non-profit organization run by UC Berkeley graduate students with the goal of empowering graduate students and postdocs to expand their career options beyond the traditional academic track. It accomplishes this career education through a series of events including an annual conference, workshops, tutorials and panels that connect academics with those who have made a transition to non-academic jobs. The UC Berkeley site Careers Beyond the Academy is also full of helpful resources.
Beyond the Tenure Track
Beyond the Tenure Track creates pathways to opportunity beyond the professoriate for graduate students and PhDs. We accomplish this through leadership skills training, professional identity building, and mentorship connections.