Plan Your Journey Preview

Welcome to the Road Map

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Consider opportunities to engage in internships, externships, or volunteer experiences that utilize my disciplinary training. Consult faculty, advanced graduate students, and postdocs for guidance on opportunities that balance my research commitments, funding restrictions (if relevant), and professional development priorities. Participate in drop-in advising or schedule an individual advising appointment with Duke Career Center staff to discuss  opportunities that help build relevant skills for my career interests.

Teach or serve as a teaching assistant (TA). Talk with my Director of Graduate Studies or Director of Graduate Studies Assistant to learn about the opportunities available in my department or program.

For experience in interdisciplinary problem-based research, apply to join a Bass Connections team; most teams take applications in the spring semester.  For experience mentoring an undergraduate research team during the summer, apply to the Story+ (bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling) or Data+ (exploring data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges) initiatives. Applications for Story+ and Data+ are generally due in early March.

For a team-based interdisciplinary leadership development program, apply to participate in The Graduate School’s Emerging Leaders Institute held each spring in order to develop communication, leadership, self-awareness, professional adaptability, and interdisciplinary teamwork skills. Applications open late in the fall semester.

For a team-based project management experience with fellow graduate and professional students sharing their expertise to benefit Durham-area nonprofits, apply to participate in DISI (Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators). Applications open about two months before the beginning of each semester, and once I’ve participated, I can apply to take on positions of increasing leadership

Join Duke APD (Advanced Professional Degree) Consulting Club to learn about career opportunities in management consulting and practice cases with graduate and professional student colleagues.

Join science outreach groups. For example, BOOST works with Durham Public School students in grades 5-12, and STEM in the Park facilitates sustained, hands-on mentoring and engagement opportunities for underrepresented minorities, girls, and students from low-income backgrounds in grades 5-12.  WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) runs an active listserv with many science outreach opportunities for both women and men, as does the Office of Postdoctoral Services (yes, grad students can subscribe!).

Explore opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across campus. Versatile Humanists @ Duke  provides an excellent overview of campus sites and resources for collaborative research.

Talk with faculty  about my interests and skills and seek advice about career opportunities.

Talk with more advanced graduate students and postdocs  in my department or program about career opportunities that fit with my disciplinary training.

Find career outcomes data for my department or program. This information is available from The Graduate School, and my department or program's website may provide more detailed lists of individual alumni and their career paths.

Explore assessments of my skills and interests as well as potential career options in alignment with them through the free online myIDP tool hosted by Science Careers. While myIDP is designed for students in the biomedical sciences, other STEM fields may find these assessments useful as a way to reflect on their skills and interests. Students in Chemistry and other physical sciences disciplines can take advantage of the ChemIDP tool available through the American Chemical Society.

Explore  assessments of my skills and interests as well as common job families profiled for humanities and social sciences PhDs in the free online ImaginePhD tool, hosted by the Graduate Career Consortium. Students in Psychology may want to consult the American Psychological Association’s Resource for Individual Development Plans as well.

Read alumni profiles from The Graduate School’s professional development blog to better understand the ways that Duke PhD alumni  have developed their knowledge and skills in preparation for their desired career paths.

Explore online profiles of professionals who work in fields of interest on LinkedIn, or see what kinds of career opportunities are available for professionals with the degree I'm pursuing. For more information on how to use LinkedIn as a career research tool, consult the Duke Career Center’s resources for leveraging LinkedIn as a complement to the Duke Alumni Network.

Read job descriptions for positions in my discipline to find out how my disciplinary training could prepare me for career options, using websites like Indeed.com.

Explore the Versatile PhD CareerFinder tool. Reading the “General Information” section about a career path provides a broad overview; “Real-Life Examples” illustrate individual career journeys. Duke’s subscription provides free access to graduate students; authenticate as a Duke user to access the full range of Versatile PhD resources.

Explore the Career Options guides from the Duke Career Center to learn about ways that my disciplinary background could be valuable in a number of career options.

To explore the range of career opportunities available to a PhD-qualified professional, attend events in the PhD Career Paths series offered through the Professional Development Series.

To explore the range of career opportunities beyond the academy, attend events in the Careers Beyond Academia series, offered biannually.

To explore the range of career opportunities within the academy, attend events in the Academic Job Search series, offered biannually.

Attend events sponsored by PhD Plus to learn from current professionals about their career trajectories.