Non-academic Career Options:
You may be in a graduate program, but have decided against pursuing a career in academia. It might be time to explore some non-academic career options. First, think about what career options will fit you best. There are a variety of factors that influence the fit between you and a particular career. Your values, interests, personality, and skills all play an important role in making a career decision. However, your specific life experiences also influence your decision, as does your academic research, on campus involvement, volunteering, and values from family and mentors.
You should take stock of all these items and more before making a career decision. Think about the transferable skills you have developed through each experience. Feeling stuck? Below are some common transferable skills that can get you started.
Explore some online resources available to you for self-exploration:
- CHOMP/MyPlan: Once in the system, select the third option to set up a MyPlan account. MyPlan takes you through a series of short assessments related to your Values, Interests, Personality, and Skills. At the end, you will receive a list of suggested careers based on themes in your responses.
- MyNextmove.org: Ideal for graduate students in any background, this site features an assessment on your interests as they relate to work-related tasks. After taking the assessment, you’ll be given a list of suggested career options based on your interest profile.
- MyIDP/ScienceCareers.com: Ideal for students in STEM, this system lets you sort through your skills, values, and interests as they relate to scientific topics. At the end, suggested careers are provided based on themes in your responses.
You might need to learn more about the various career options that exist in order to make an informed decision. While continuing your teaching/research in an academic setting is one career option, there are many other functional areas that are career options for students with Masters and Doctorates. To further explore some career options, use the resources below:
- CRC Career Roadmaps: Learn about career paths and resources for different fields and industries.
- Versatile PhD Career Finder: Features descriptions of career fields where PhDs have found successful employment outside of the world of academia.
- Occupation Outlook Handbook: Search for general job titles to gather information about all career fields, including work environment, median salary, needed skills and education, and professional associations for that industry.
- O*NET: Use the search feature to find profiles and information about all jobs and industries, as well as their related fields.
- Cheeky Scientist: Explore common industry careers for Master’s and PhD students with a science background.
Based with the information you’ve gathered about yourself and the career opportunities, think about the patterns, themes, and where you see alignment. Need help processing? Schedule a career planning appointment to talk over your options!
Once you know the career path you’d like to pursue, it’s time to begin your search! Use the Graduate Career Guide for Non-Academic Careers to find resources for various career fields.