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Careers Inside Academia

Careers in academia range from traditional faculty positions that involve teaching, research and service to administrative positions.

We can help!

We can assist you with your academic job search. This assistance includes reviewing sample job titles and a general timeline, and discussing networking strategies, application materials and specifics on academic interviewing. If you have a PhD, you have options for tenure and non-tenure faculty positions, academic administrative positions, research positions and post-doc positions.

Job Search

Academic job searches can be very different from a non-academic (industry) job search. One advantage of academic jobs is that they are usually posted publicly, which can make locating academic jobs easier. For both academic and non-academic job searches, however, networking and fostering personal connections are important.

Academic job search strategies:
    General Job Search Sites:

    These sites reach a wide audience, with frequent updates. However, they can be challenging to navigate, and it is difficult to separate your resume from the pack. Set an automatic alert with these general job search sites to speed up and automate the process.

    Specific (field-focused) Job Boards:

    These sites reach a smaller targeted audience. They often provide good resources but usually with less frequent postings. You can learn more about where to find these boards by asking professionals in your field.

    College & University Human Resources Web Pages:

    Target schools you are interested in by reviewing their human resources pages. Set an automatic alert to be more efficient with your search.

    Professional Associations:

    Expand your networking and job searching by using professional associations for your field. Many professional organizations will have job postings.

    Network:

    Although jobs in academia are almost always advertised, having a contact within a department will help you learn more about the program and better your chances. Join networking groups and websites. Expand your network to gain information about your industry and located job leads.

    Review the "Job search resources: in academia" document at our Resources page.

Sample Job Titles

Faculty Positions:

    Professor, Instructor, Adjunct Professor, Faculty Member, Special Education Professor, Field Placement Director, Field Coordinator, Lecturer, Student Teaching Coordinator and Assistant Professor.

Academic Administrative Positions:

    Academic Dean, Provost, Academic Affairs Vice President, College President, Admissions Director, Dean of Students, Financial Aid Director and Academic Affairs Dean.

Research Positions:

    Researcher, Institute Director, Primary Investigator, Post-Doctoral Researcher Fellow, Laboratory Supervisor.

Job Search Timeline

An academic job search typically begins one year before you would ideally start. Below is a general guideline of activities to undertake as you look at academic jobs:

First year of graduate studies:
  • Learn about the CRC, attend a workshop, or meet with our Career Planning staff
  • Keep records of your professional presentations, research projects, publications and teaching experiences
  • Establish relationships with your department faculty and with professional organizations
  • Begin to publish and contribute to articles and journals
15-18 months prior to graduation:
  • Figure out when you want to finish your thesis / dissertation, set goals and deadlines
  • Discuss employment with professors, advisors and staff at CRC
  • Prepare application materials: update and create CV & cover letter
12-15 months prior to graduation:
  • Renew professional contacts: attend workshops and national conferences in your field
  • Begin watching for job postings
  • Research academic settings, departments, schools of interest
  • Network: attend relevant meetings and use LinkedIn, professors, advisors, friends, family, etc.
  • Establish references
  • Edit application materials: CVs and cover letters, teaching statements and portfolios
  • Begin applying by sending out personalized CVs & cover letters for each position
8-12 months prior to graduation:
3 months prior to graduation:
  • Finish thesis/dissertation
  • Continue exploring job postings
  • Explore post-doc and other options
  • Continue to network
  • If you do not achieve desired responses, review and evaluate application materials. You may want to consider revising your search strategy by visiting us for a Career Planning appointment.

Networking

Networking is about building positive relationships with other in your field of interest and plays a pivotal role in professional development. Remember networking is intentional, so you need to do more than simply show up at conferences.

Networking can work for you:

    Networking leads to contacts for professional development, career planning and strategy, professional and personal encouragement and access and visibility in your field.

    It is not just about who you know, but also who does your network know? Start by cultivating your personal network, and by reviewing the networking tips and informational interview basics. Resources to get you started include:

  • UF Alumni Association
  • UF Student Organizations
  • LinkedIn
  • Professional organizations
  • Affinity groups (Women in Higher Education and American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education)
  • Networking Tips
  • Information Interview

Essential Academic Application Materials

CV

    cur·ric·u·lum vi·tae: Latin, course of (one's) life. The curriculum vita (CV) is the standard for seeking jobs in higher education. The CV is more detailed than a traditional resume and summarizes your qualifications and experience while highlighting teaching and research aspects of your career.


    Review the CV examples at our Resources page.

Cover Letter

    Cover letters always accompany your CV when applying for positions. The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself and your work and persuade the reviewer to read your CV and the rest of your application materials.

    Review the cover letter examples at our Resources page.

Teaching / Research Statement

    A teaching or research statement summarizes who you are, what you value in your academic career and your philosophy about your past, present and future work.

    A teaching statement/summary or research statement/summary is often required when applying for academic jobs.

    Review the "Teaching statement" document at our Resources page.

Academic Interview

All Interviews require research, preparation and practice – academic interviews especially. These interviews typically last an entire day and can have one-on-one and group interviews. Interviews can be stressful, but with proper preparation you can manage that stress.

Research:

    Institution: Find out the type, location, degree offerings and student populations of the institution. This information can be found on college search sites, as well as through the university fact pages.

    Department: Research the office culture, research goals, mission and values. This information can be explored in department web sites, faculty pages and faculty biographies.

    Published research: Review the research published by the department faculty. Start reviewing journals and other publications.

    Position: Carefully review the skills required by the employer. These skills are usually listed in detail on the human resources posting. Don't overlook required documents, key dates and deadlines.

Preparation:

    Be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your research and your future work.

    Review the "Academic Interview Questions" and "Academic Interview Questions to Ask" at our Resources page. Review our Interviewing page for interviewing information.

Practice:

    An interview can be a high-pressure experience. Use a mock interview to get feedback on how you present yourself.

Mock Interviews:

Get help

For information on how to make an appointment, please visit our Career Planning page.

Mock interviewing

Be sure to take advantage of our mock interviewing opportunities. Mock interviews will help to make actual interviews easier.

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