VPhD is an online community of graduate students and postdocs interested in exploring career opportunities beyond academe.
A Ph.D. or master's degree can prepare you for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors. UC Davis Ph.D. and master’s students, and postdoctoral scholars have found successful and rewarding careers outside academia in publishing, public policy, online curriculum design, biotech, environmental design and planning, science writing, sustainable development, media and communications, events planning, performing arts, product management, health care services, and patent law. Our students and scholars work in non-profits, corporations, government and as consultants.
Job Search Steps
There are seven basic steps for preparing for and securing a non-academic career:
- Career planning and research
- Job searching and networking
- Conducting an informational interview
- Developing application materials
- Preparing for an interview
- Negotiating a position
Working with Recruiters
- Working With Recruiters - Explains how to incorporate recruiters into a job search
- Online Recruiters Directory - Site for finding recruiters
- Recruiters Online - Site for finding recruiters
- Staffing Agencies - List of local area staffing agencies
Whether you are just exploring the idea of careers beyond academia or you are actively conducting a job search, we have resources to assist you:
- Our career advisers offer confidential one-to-one advising and can help with career planning, job search, development of application materials (resume and cover letter), interview preparation and negotiating a position.
- We offer a variety of workshops, including effective communication for the job search, use of social media and developing a professional profile, the importance of and how to network effectively, career assessment, and other topics relevant to those exploring careers beyond academia. Check our calendar of events regularly for up-to-date information on times and locations.
- You can explore our career library to read books and journal articles on all aspects of the career search.
- Job search websites.
- Connect with us on LinkedIn. Join the UC Davis Career Connections LinkedIn group for Master’s, PhDs and postdocs, with over 1,000 members.
- Follow us on Facebook.
- 12 Tips For Job Search in A Tight Economy
- Science Careers.org - How to Build Your Network
- CareerCafe - Use to find professional associations (scroll to the bottom of the page to access the professional association database)
- WEDDLE's - Use to find professional associations
- Sample Networking Emails and Networking 30 Second Introduction - Brandeis University
- About Networking - Explains the basics of networking in a job search
- Researching Employers Tips - Extensive resources for company research
- Ph.D. Career Guide - Website and blog on Ph.D. career paths. Created by Rutgers graduate student, Michael D'Ecclessis for fellow Ph.D.s. Includes information about careers beyond academia and academic careers.
- Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower, by Cynthia Robbins-Roth
- So What are you Going to do With That?, by Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius
- Power Ties: The International Student's Guide to Finding a Job in the United States, by Dan Beaudry
Online Career Resources for Social Sciences & Humanities
- #Alt-academy - Explores unconventional or alternative academic careers for Humanities scholars.
- Non-Academic Career Options for Ph.D.s in the Humanities and Social Sciences - Very useful information on career options in areas including Higher Education Administration, Non-Profits, Consulting, Government and more.
- BeyondAcademe.com - For History Ph.D.'s leaving academia, but contains information of interest to anyone looking for careers beyond academia.
- Art Historians - Creative career alternatives for art historians.
- The Journeyman - A personal account of entering into and eventually leaving academia for a satisfying career.
- Humanists@Work - a UC-wide initiative geared towards UC Humanities and humanistic Social Science MAs and PhDs interested in careers outside/alongside the academy administered by the Humanities Research Institute.