Presentation on theme: "LIFE BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER: NON-FACULTY CAREER OPTIONS Catherine Carrigan, MA JD Sponsored by Career Development Center and The Graduate School 1."— Presentation transcript:
LIFE BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER: NON-FACULTY CAREER OPTIONS Catherine Carrigan, MA JD Sponsored by Career Development Center and The Graduate School 1
Second thoughts about a faculty career? 2 Tenure-track jobs remain hard to come by. Pressure from outside sources (advisors, family, friends). Concerns about “fit” with the academic environment. Some vague sense that the Ph.D. can lead to many other places besides tenure track faculty jobs.
Soul searching before job searching. 3 Don’t expect grades alone will get you by. Employers won’t be impressed by your degree if you cannot explain HOW having the degree makes you a strong candidate. Begin by honestly assessing your skills, interests, values: What fields naturally interest you? Have these changed? What do you want to be doing in a job? Examples: strategic planning, data analysis, project coordination What about a job will give you satisfaction? Examples: salary, benefits, hours, impact on society
Soul searching before job searching. 4 Assess your transferable skills: Examples: writing & presentation skills, ability to translate complex concepts to new learners, long- term planning and project management Get your classmates/advisers/loved ones to help you identify what you’ve been doing all this time Attend next month’s workshop on Marketing Yourself Outside the Academy (November 4 th ) for more assistance
Looking outside academia: where to begin. 5 Research the skill set needed in areas you enjoy. Keep in mind some of the concerns an employer might have: Some graduate programs offer limited opportunities for teamwork/collaboration. Can you transition to writing for non-academic audiences? Do you have experience working at a faster pace than academia may normally require? To fill in gaps, endeavor to gain skills in a professional area: an internship, volunteer work, assistantship, committee or professional association involvement, part-time job, etc.
Looking outside academia: where to begin. 6 Conduct informational interviews: Seek interviewees by speaking with your network - faculty and administrators, people you have met at conferences, friends, friends of friends, contacts from the Alumni Association/ASK, etc. Your goal is not a job, but knowledge about a field. Go into these conversations prepared – know about the work they do and HAVE QUESTIONS. Always, always keep in touch—you never know when these meetings will pay off. Networking events: Student-Alumni Mentoring/Networking Night – Nov 2 nd, 6 pm (Regents Hall, Lewis Towers)
Non-faculty academic positions. 7 Consider careers at universities where your experience within academia could be an asset. Examples include student services, administrative roles (ex. centers for teaching and learning), advising positions. Know that these positions will not always be widely advertised—networking proves vital yet again! Educate yourself about the field of higher education administration and seek experience while you are still a student. Also check out university HR websites, www.higheredjobs.com, Chronicle of Higher Education www.higheredjobs.com
Government positions. 8 Many government agencies hire in various capacities: Researchers– Technical experts Analysts– Linguists Diplomats– etc. Usajobs.gov is THE online application portal for federal jobs, but also consider city, state and county opportunities.
Non-profit & for profit options. 9 Non-profit: administrative and leadership roles in cultural institutions, community organizations, professional associations, think tanks, healthcare. For profit: roles as technical advisors, consultants, administrators, managers. Be aware that if your work history is limited, you may have to start a level or two below your ultimate goal in order to prove yourself.
Turning your CV into a resume. 10 Resumes are shorter: be concise (1-2 pages at most). Focus on skills developed that transfer to jobs outside the academy. Consider various ways to organize a resume. The less traditional functional skills resume may be appropriate if you are switching fields or have limited work history. Review the CDC’s resume guide & the Chronicle’s “CV Doctor” column for examples of a graduate student’s career-focused resume.
Improving your interviewing skills. 11 Know yourself as much as possible (strengths, areas to improve, why you are a good fit). Research the organization and posting. Practice responses to common interview questions (see examples in CDC’s interviewing guide). Never, ever let these trip you up: Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why are you not going the academic route? Behavioral interviewing – have some examples in mind relating to your past experiences.
Identifying job opportunities. 12 Don’t merely rely on online job boards, but do use your faculty/co-workers to identify the most relevant targeted job sites and networking opportunities. Create a professional online identity (linkedin.com, personal website, ePortfolio, etc.). Be prepared that, given the current economy, you may need to allow more time for your search and be more flexible in what you are willing to take. This is a first step, not a life-long commitment.
Additional Resources 13 Chronicle of Higher Education: “Having a Plan B” http://ironstring.com/sellout/ http://ironstring.com/sellout/ Insidehighered.com So What Are You Going to Do with That? A Guide for MAs and Ph.D.s Seeking Careers Outside of the Academy by Susan Basalla & Maggie Debelius Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Master’s or Ph.D. by Robert L. Peters
Questions? 14 Feel free to schedule an appointment with me or anyone in our office by calling 773.508.7716 or e- mailing firstname.lastname@example.org