Zero-Credit Career Exploration Courses

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

STEM graduate students and postdocs from all colleges and departments can register for NSC 098D: Investigating Career Options for STEM Advanced Degrees, offered in the fall semester.

Graduate students and postdocs in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences from all colleges and departments can register for GRS 096: Reimagining Career Possibilities for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Advanced Degrees, offered in the spring semester.

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, in which they work in small groups to research a career of interest and write a Career Transition Guide, educating their peers about the career and how advanced degrees can develop skills and effectively manage their job search to transition into the career. As a result of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Apply career research strategies to career exploration and develop expertise in a career of interest
  • Understand breadth of career options available to advanced degrees in their discipline
  • Identify skills, interests, and values that will guide career exploration and decision-making
  • Build confidence in developing a professional community
  • Explore ways to frame yourself, your experience, and your skills in different career contexts (e.g. LinkedIn profiles, resumes, elevator pitches)

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 2022

Assignments

The main assignment of the course is to complete a Career Transition Guide. Students are supported in identifying their career interests at the beginning of the semester, and are placed into small groups to apply their graduate research skills to collect information about a career of interest pursued by advanced degrees and present that information in a PDF guide. Example careers include research-intensive faculty, science policy analyst, life sciences consultant, academic staff scientist, regulatory affairs specialist, and more. These Career Transition Guides are added to a library of career exploration resources accessible to all advanced degrees at UT on the Texas Career Engagement website. The Guides will include an overview of the career, example job titles and employers, information on compensation and location of jobs, advice for getting started and applying, and a review of required skills as they relate to common job responsibilities. This project is broken into smaller assignments with deadlines throughout the semester.

Grading

This course is Credit / No Credit, and is not computed in the GPA. Performance at the level of C (i.e. 73/100) or above is required to earn credit. Please note that receiving a No Credit may impact your ability to receive a TA appointment in the future.

Attendance = 50%
Assignments = 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  to be added to the course.

Syllabus

Download the GRS 096 course syllabus: Spring 2023

Assignments

The main assignment of the course is to complete a Career Transition Guide. Students are supported in identifying their career interests at the beginning of the semester, and are placed into small groups to apply their graduate research skills to collect information about a career of interest pursued by advanced degrees and present that information in a PDF guide. Example careers include research-intensive faculty, UX research, academic publishing, higher education consulting, corporate training, and more. These Career Transition Guides are added to a library of career exploration resources accessible to all advanced degrees at UT on the Texas Career Engagement website. The Guides will include an overview of the career, example job titles and employers, information on compensation and location of jobs, advice for getting started and applying, and a review of required skills as they relate to common job responsibilities. This project is broken into smaller assignments with deadlines throughout the semester.

Grading

This course is Credit / No Credit, and is not computed in the GPA. Performance at the level of C (i.e. 73/100) or above is required to earn credit. Please note that receiving a No Credit may impact your ability to receive a TA appointment in the future

Attendance = 50%
Assignments = 50%

Meet with an expert

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

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