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Career Development for PhDs

PhD graduates have many career options. According to a 2016 survey of Northeastern’s PhD students, over 50 percent seek careers outside academia—in business, industry, government, health services, and the nongovernmental and not-for-profit sectors.

As researchers, PhD graduates demonstrate an ability to solve challenging problems by surmounting obstacles and persisting despite barriers. Through their teaching experiences, they learn to communicate complex information to a range of audiences. Whether you seek an academic career or pursue another profession, you will uncover diverse opportunities. In addition to your faculty mentor, you can draw upon resources like the ones listed below.

Northeastern Employer Engagement and Career Design, in partnership with the PhD Network, provides a rich program of professional development for PhD students at any point in their PhD education journeys.

Take a Career Foward PhD Journey: Events designed to give you tools that you can use during your PhD journey and closer to graduation as you move into your career. Leverage your strengths and build communication skills.

Events Calendar

PhD Resource Circle: This PhD-only group meets weekly in order to provide support for the job search (academic or industry) within a flexible, collaborative structure. Share resources and experiences, peer-review job search documents, and get detailed feedback from your colleagues and from the group’s organizer.  Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m ., online via Teams. 

Coming Soon: Resume, CV, and Cover Letter Sample Documents

Tools to help you search for opportunities:

  • Opportunities @ PhD Network
  • NU Careers @ Employer Engagement and Career Design will help you search for opportunities across sectors.

Articles about career opportunities for PhDs

  • Recent Publications
  • Science Magazine — on preparing for a post-PhD career
  • Science Magazine — the career special issue
  • HASTAC — a network of humanists, artists, social scientists and engineers committed to new forms of collaborations across disciplines and fostered by creative uses of technology
  • National Science Board Infographic on Science, Engineering and Health PhD graduates in the workforce.