For many doctoral candidates, pursuing a tenure track faculty position is an obvious career choice. However, it is still important to think carefully about your decision and to explore and clarify your goals before implementing a job search plan. The following are some tips and resources on how to prepare for a career in academia.


  • During your doctoral studies, make a conscious effort to carefully observe faculty responsibilities (research, teaching, administrative work) and find opportunities to gain exposure and experience in these areas
  • Learn more about faculty roles by participating in relevant events at conferences or on campus. One example Academic Careers in the Biosciences series offered during Fall quarter by the School of Medicine Career Center. Several events, such as this exist across campus
  • Assess your skills, interests, personality, values, and preferred work environment and ascertain whether there is a "fit" between you and the expectation of an academic career. The CDC offers a number of career assessment tools as well as career counseling to assist you with this process
  • Talk to faculty often for advice. Find mentors who can offer insights about various academic settings and responsibilities
  • Learn what to expect regarding the academic job search and start your preparation early
  • Check out Academic Job Search Resources for more resources available online and in the CDC Career Resources Library
  • The CDC offers several services focused on PhD and Postdoc academic careers including career community meetups (check out the upcoming events on this page), mentoring, PhD/Postdoc career fair, and more. Register with Cardinal Careers or visit us to learn more
  • VPGE also offers workshops and courses focusing on preparing graduate students for careers in academia 

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