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Exploration, Self-Assessment, Goal Setting

How do your interests and skills translate to a career choice? What do certain industries do? What steps do I need to take in order to reach my goals? Find the resources to help you explore your career choices here.


Don't Let Your Dissertation Run Your Life by David A. McDonald, Carpe Careers, Inside Higher Ed

Learn about career options from our alumni in different industries. Watch our Beyond the Lab series.

Visit our blog and use the tag cloud on the right side of the page to find resources and blog posts relating to specific career options for scientists. 

Use the PhD Career Finder tool at Versatile PhD.

How to Tell Your Adviser (an article about discussing your non-academic aspirations with your faculty adviser) by Maren Wood for The Chronicle of Higher Education

The NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) has a blog series entitled, "Career Options Series" which highlights different industries for a PhD-trained scientist. Here are direct links to the industries:



myIDP: Individual Development Plan for ScienceCareers 

Transferable skills survey from the University of Minnesota-Duluth 

Quick personality and Humanmetrics tests to learn your MBTI type (note: these free assessments can estimate your MBTI, but for the most accurate assessment, consider having the assessment done at the Psychological and Counseling Center

Information about the MBTI personality types 

Career Trends: Finding Your Personal Job Chemistry by the AAAS

Versatile PhD: use your VUnet ID and password to access the premium content of Versatile PhD, a web-based community for STEM and humanities disciplines where you can participate in discussions, network with PhDs and ABDs outside the academy, or just listen and learn. The site has examples of successful resumes and cover letters that resulted in STEM PhDs getting their first post-academic positions. There are also compelling narratives written by successful STEM PhDs who have gone on to non-academics careers, describing how their careers have developed after grad school and where they are today. You may see in upcoming newsletters when Versatile PhD will feature panel discussions on varied, helpful topics, all viewable via the web. 


Goal Setting

Treat your career as a series of stepping stones by Claire Whitmell for Guardian Careers 

Behind the Academic Curtain: How to Find Success and Happiness with a PhD by Serena Golden for Inside Higher Ed

Planning a Career in Today's Landscape by Kenneth Gibbs