Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Grad student shaking hands with career advisor during appointment

Grad students and postdocs: your career starts here!

You're highly educated with an impressive academic record. Did you know that you also have industry-relevant experience, an in-demand skill set and several career path options? Let us show you.

Our graduate career advisors are dedicated to serving graduate students and postdoctoral fellows like you. We have workshops, appointments and resources to help guide your post-academic career development. We're here for you whether you're starting your graduate degree or finishing your postdoc project.

Career planning

Whether you intend to continue to pursue a career in academia or seek opportunities apart from post-secondary institutions, our staff are equipped and our resources are designed to help you. Our graduate advisors can provide information on a variety of topics including résumés and CVs, as well as academic or non-academic interviews.

Academic career

The job market for academic positions is very competitive. While your home department and faculty mentors are best positioned to give you the details about hiring practices in your discipline, the Centre for Career Development can provide expertise on your academic job search, CV writing, cover letters, academic interviews, and negotiating job offers.

Search committees routinely must sort through over 100 applications for faculty jobs. We can help you to ensure that your documents meet their criteria. Meet with us early in your PhD or master's program to help you devise a strategy and make a plan for your pursuit of academic work. The more you know about the industry’s hiring methods early on in your degree, the better prepared you will be when you enter the job market.

A typical tenure-track faculty job application process often requires:

  • An outstanding CV that demonstrates an excellent record of research, teaching, grant writing, and service 
  • A tailored, well-written, and convincing cover letter that outlines your "fit" for the job, department and school, and focuses on the future — what your next project will be, how you will bolster the reputation or strengths of the department, etc.
  • A research statement of one to two pages that outlines your research to date and, more importantly, one that outlines your next — and future — research project(s) 
  • A teaching portfolio that demonstrates and provides evidence of your teaching excellence and experience 
  • Samples of your published work or your dissertation 
  • A campus interview 
  • A one-page diversity statement demonstrating your commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is occasionally required 

Alternative-academic & post-academic career

How do you define yourself and what you do? The Centre for Career Development can help you:

  • Think more broadly about your career options
  • Identify and describe your skills, roles, and responsibilities in non-technical language
  • Think critically about whether an academic career path is right for you
  • Identify multiple career paths (both within and outside higher education) that align with your skills, interests, and strengths
  • Find jobs, create an application package, practice your interview skills, and negotiate job offers

Where should I start if I'm new to graduate school?

I am a PhD student/postdoc. I've only ever considered an academic career path. What can you do for me?

Our mission is to support you in achieving your goals while increasing your awareness of the wide range of exciting careers which your PhD prepares you for. In addition to our academic career workshops, advising appointments, and resources, we recommend that you book a career exploration appointment and attend career planning workshops.

Even if you do end up in an academic career, you might want to be prepared for periods of non-academic employment. That's why the Centre for Career Development promotes parallel career planning.

What are my career options?

Your training and education have prepared you well for several different kinds of careers. Grad students often only focus on careers that require their specific training and skills. Our graduate career advisors can help you learn how to transfer your skills and training to new, exciting contexts.

I want to take my next step. What should I do?

  • Book an appointment with a grad career advisor to discuss your options
  • View our workshop and events for upcoming alternative academic career events
  • Explore options for finding career opportunities
  • Search social media for key hashtags, such as #altac and #postac to network and join a wider discussion about grad student careers
  • Check out these helpful career resources for grad students:
    • Imagine PhD has a career exploration and planning tool to help you discover your career-related skills, interests, and values

    • From PhD to Life is a blog by Jennifer Polk (PhD) with a helpful Q&A section which features former PhD students who have made the transition towards careers outside of academia

    • Jobs on Toast is a blog by Chris Humphrey, PhD, that focuses on how to market yourself for a career outside academia

    • Inside Higher Ed's collection of career topics is a great resource to find articles and blog posts on a variety of topics

    • MyWorldAbroad, although not specific to grad students, contains several great resources to help develop your global career skills and has stories of other students who have worked internationally.

Workshops and events

Upcoming workshops

Upcoming workshops

Upcoming workshops

Upcoming workshops

Upcoming workshops

Upcoming workshops