PhD Career Resources for Faculty

Faculty and staff play a critical role in career development for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. As academic career opportunities have become more competitive, advanced degree career pathways have broadened. If you are interested in starting or extending career support in your department to include a broader range of career options, our team is uniquely positioned to help. We are involved in UT-specific and national conversations to share best practices and models, and we are able to provide:

  • Department-specific graduate student workshops on career and professional development topics (open to all graduate departments, free of charge) Request a workshop using this form.
  • Faculty training on discipline-specific advanced degree career pathways, career mentorship and curriculum design
  • Advanced degree career outcomes information, both first destination and long-term trajectories
  • Connection to advanced degree employers and alumni
  • Employment opportunities and labor trends for new graduate program proposals

Contact: Annie Maxfield, Director of Graduate Career & Professional Development

Advanced Degree Career Resources for Faculty & Departments

Many career pathways exist that are of interest to advanced degree students and also value skills developed through graduate-level training. As a faculty member, you can influence the way your department exposes and prepares students for these options. Below are resources, tools, and opportunities for faculty and department staff to advocate and integrate career development into curriculum and department culture while better preparing advanced students for a more diverse range of career pathways.

Programs & Curriculum

Modern Language Association: Doctoral Student Career Planning Guide – This guide gives faculty members, especially those in administrative roles, clear strategies and simple resources their programs can use to prepare students for a variety of careers. It is designed to help them advise their students more effectively, start conversations with colleagues and administrators about career pathways for doctoral students, and foster a departmental culture that supports the career ambitions and outcomes of all their students. Although written specifically for the Modern Language Association, these strategies can be effectively employed across disciplines as a good starting point.

  • Sample PhD Career Seminar Syllabi

Building a Career Development Program for Biomedical Trainees – Progressive, module-based workshops, resources, and guides designed for faculty and department staff to build a career development program in the biomedical sciences in their departments. Created through the NIH funded BEST Consortium (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) and produced by UC Irvine and the NIH.

Supporting Your Doctoral Students in Career Exploration (Modern Language Association Conference, January 2020) – Overview of how to use ImaginePhD and ways to build career exploration and development into curriculum and culture for faculty in the humanities.

CGS PhD Career Pathways Reports

Career Diversity for Historians – The American Historical Association’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative is working to better prepare graduate students and early-career historians for a range of career options, within and beyond the academy. With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the AHA and three dozen departments from around the country are working to explore the culture and practice of graduate education and how it can better support the changing needs of doctoral students.

Ibiology – A free online platform where users can explore your options for careers in biology, improve professional skills, navigate your training, and learn what is happening in the biomedical workforce.

Grants & Funding Opportunities

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) For Faculty Advisors and Mentors

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a graduate student- and postdoc-driven planning and assessment tool customized to each graduate student’s or postdoctoral scholar’s developmental stage and goals. When graduate students or postdocs complete an IDP, they receive an assessment of their skills, progress, goals, and action items. This process in turn helps graduate students and postdocs to better guide their progress meetings with faculty.

There are significant benefits to using an IDP process with your graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. An IDP:

  • Establishes a foundation for a solid working relationship with your graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
  • Sets clear expectations for the future.
  • Assesses progress, skills, and professional development needs, clarifying career goals and expectations, which will lead to greater productivity and success in the long term.
  • Sets academic and professional development goals and action plans for achieving them.

Indeed, the 2005 Sigma Xi Postdoc survey of U.S. postdoctoral scholars showed that postdoctoral scholars who created a written career plan or IDP with their mentors were 23 percent more likely to submit papers, 30 percent more likely to publish first-authored papers, and 25 percent less likely to report that their mentor did not meet initial expectations.

Individual Development Plan Tools

UT Austin participates in several PhD Career Pathways Initiatives:

Career support for all UT Austin students

Undergraduate students have access to career counseling, career coaching and pre-professional guidance as well as specialized support where career and identity intersect. Graduate students have access to tailored professional development and career support for academic and industry career paths.

Undergraduate Resources
Graduate Resources