Finding a Job

The post graduate degree job hunt varies widely across the disciplines. The process for securing a job with an MBA will look much different than hunting for an academic home for your PhD. While excellent programs and professors will provide support and will help you make connections, the job hunt can be lengthy, tiresome and lonesome, and so it pays to start preparing as early as possible. In this section, you'll find resources that are relevant for every stage of the process, from finding relevant job openings to landing that final interview.

  1. Scholarly Pursuits: A Guide To Professional Development During the Graduate Years
    At 208 pages, this book by Cynthia Verba, longstanding director of fellowships at Harvard University, is the definitive guide to landing a job after the degree, a process that starts from your very first year as a graduate student. Along with her extensive examination of the graduate experience -- and, notably, tips for thriving throughout it -- she offers resources for publishing, advice on applying to doctoral programs and a guide to securing a tenure track teaching position within your discipline. Though the book was written in the 1980s, it is now in its 12th edition and has been updated considerably, with an increased focused on professional development throughout your graduate career to address the difficulties of an increasingly competitive academic job market.
  2. Landing an Academic Job
    Written by Jonathan Dantzig, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the advice here is particularly compelling, as it is offers the perspective of a professor who has sat on many hiring boards and knows firsthand which small mistakes most often get in a candidate's way in a competitive job market. In 29 pages, Dantzig outlines the role of a professor in academia, offers tips on securing and nailing an interview, performing well in your seminar, and negotiating the details of a job offer. Examples curriculum vitae are provided, along with sample application letters, interview itineraries, and offer letters. While the advice here is easily applied to other disciplines, you might also want to take a look at a similar resource provided by the Career Center at UCSD: The Academic Job Search: A Survival Guide.
  3. How to Write a Statement of Teaching Philosophy
    If you plan on staying in academia, then teaching will be a big part of what you do -- yes, even if your interests lie primarily in research. As such, it is important to demonstrate to hiring committees just how passionate you are about instruction with a detailed yet globally focused teaching philosophy that articulates a clear understanding of the profession you are entering. With this resource, you'll learn not only how to do this but also how to make your teaching philosophy distinctive while keeping it short and to the point.
  4. Networking Tips for Graduate Students
    "Networking" may seem like more of a business school buzzword, but it's just as important for PhD students as it is the MBA candidate (plenty of resources are available for the latter with a simple Google search). In this article written by a biology PhD candidate, you'll find a number of excellent tips for getting over your fears and starting conversations, whether at conferences, guest lectures, or coffee meetings. While the tips are spot on, it's the personal perspective that really makes this resource helpful, from one PhD student to another.
  5. Non-Academic Career Options for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences
    At the end of 7 years in higher academia, some PhD candidates won't want to leave; others will run as far away as possible. If you are in the latter camp, your PhD qualifies you to do a number of outside jobs, explored in this resource put out by the Columbia University Center for Education. From research and writing roles to administrative positions,and jobs in public and international affairs, the site covers the gamut, and just might open your eyes to a new exciting route. Links to major job databases are helpfully provided in each section.
  6. Preparing for Academic Interviews
    As with any job search, interviews are make or break for any candidate. But in academia the process is particularly intense, often involving a long flight to the school and a long day -- or several days -- of interviews as well as seminar teaching with many different members of the faculty. In this resource put out by the NIH, you'll find a number of questions to ask yourself as you prepare, including inquiries about your research, teaching style, possible contributions to the department and long term career goals. The guide also suggests a few questions you can (and should) ask in return.
  7. PhDs - The Transition From Graduate Student to Assistant Professor
    While your graduate teaching assistantship may have done a lot to prepare you for life as a professor, there are still many differences to account for. In this article on the University of California Berkeley Career Center site, you'll find tips for navigating teaching, research, and the tenure process.There is also a good review of the types of positions available, and advice on contributing regularly to the department as a whole.
  8. The Challenges and Opportunities of the Adjunct World
    As you begin your faculty career, chances are you will spend some time adjuncting. Low pay, lack of benefits and heavy teaching loads can make this a stressful time in your life, but it is often an essential part of resume building -- and you may even like it. This article penned by a current adjunct demonstrates how you can make the best of adjuncting. For a counter perspective, we recommend reading Cultural Capital Doesn't Pay the Rent. Together, these resources will help you decide for yourself whether adjuncting is a path you're excited to head down, or you'd rather hunt for positions outside of academia.
  9. Preparing Yourself for the Tenure Process
    Getting ready for the tenure process starts early, especially if you want to secure it sooner rather than later. In this article, two seasoned professors recommend a number of tips, like knowing the requirements, educating your colleagues on just what it is you do, participating in the life of the department, and benchmarking your progress. Links to charting, career planning and time management worksheets are also provided to get you going.