How to Explore Careers

Applying a Research Framework to Career Exploration

Drawing parallels to the research process, Tina Solvik’s article from Inside Higher Ed outlines five iterative steps: conducting a self-assessment, framing a career research question, gathering data through various methods, analyzing the findings in light of personal skills and values, and summarizing the results. The framework encourages adaptability, acknowledging that career decisions can change over time. Advanced degree students and scholars are urged to view career exploration as an ongoing research project, aligning their skills for long-term success.

Zero-Credit Career Exploration Courses

Advanced degree students and scholars at UT Austin are invited to register for free, zero-credit career exploration courses, offered by Texas Career Engagement annually.

Each course is designed for graduate students and postdocs to explore career options and apply career research strategies in a supportive and motivating group setting. Courses meet weekly for lectures, group discussion, and interactive experiential learning. All course participants engage in project-based learning. As a result of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify skills, interests, and values that will guide career exploration and decision-making
  • Understand breadth of career options available to advanced degrees in their discipline
  • Apply career research strategies to career exploration
  • Explore ways to frame their experiences and skills in different career contexts
  • Build confidence in developing a professional community

STEM Course Details

Registration

NSC 098D is offered only in the fall semester. Graduate students may register online for NSC 098D during their regular registration period. Postdoctoral scholars can email Texas Career Engagement at  to be added to the course.

Syllabus

Download the NSC 098D course syllabus: Fall 2023

Course Expectations

This course is built on a series of working meetings.  During each class you will work on a specific topic with your colleagues.  We have specifically designed this course to ensure you are doing most of the work in class. Respect your classmates’ dedication to this process by practicing active listening, giving positive feedback, and contributing equally. 

Grading

This course is Credit / No Credit, and is not computed in the GPA.
Attendance = 50%

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Course Details

Registration

GRS 096 is offered only in the spring semester. Graduate students may register online for GRS 096 during their regular registration period. Postdoctoral scholars can email Texas Career Engagement at careerengagement@austin.utexas.edu to be added to the course.

Syllabus

Download the GRS 096 course syllabus: Spring 2023

Description

Explore career options for advanced degrees in the humanities, arts, and social sciences in a supportive and motivating group setting. Participants will work with the course facilitator to determine the scope of course topics, meeting agendas, and projects. Potential topics include but are not limited to: career research strategies, developing professional relationships with people in careers of interest, communicating your professional identity online and in job documents, conducting a job search (in academe, business, nonprofit, and/or government), and interviewing and negotiating. All participants will engage in some form of project-based learning, to be determined in consultation with peers and the course facilitator.

Meet with an expert

Make a confidential appointment with a Graduate Career Advisor to explore next steps and prepare for your career.

Make an Appointment