Career Exploration

The Graduate School encourages all students to think about and explore a broad range of career paths.  As the career outcomes for our alumni show, the skills and knowledge that students acquire while earning a graduate degree at Princeton prepare them to make significant and meaningful contributions in a wide range of employment sectors.  Weekly announcements about professional development offerings are emailed to graduate students through the Graduate School's Professional Development Bulletin.  The resources section of this site includes links to online career exploration and planning tools.  Listed below are centers, programs, and initiatives that support graduate students in their career exploration.

Career Services

Career Services supports graduate student career development for all career paths through individual career advising and career education programming. Career advisers will regularly meet with graduate students of all years to discuss career interests and how to explore further,  job search strategy and timing, dossiers, CVs, resumes, interview preparation, connecting with graduate alumni and other professionals and a host of other career related topics.

The Graduate Student Advisory Board provides input to Career Services in order to develop more robust program offerings, deeper connections to academic departments and a more tailored career advising approach for graduate students.  New advisory board members are selected by Career Services during the summer months and may serve a multi-year term. This is a wonderful opportunity to serve on a board as a representative of the graduate students.

InterSECT - Interactive Job Simulation Exercises for Career Transitions

Explore a career field by actually performing a job task related to the field. The project to build a library of job simulations was funded by a Career Guidance for Trainees Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Job sims currently available include fields such as medical writing, intellectual property, business development, and science policy. New sims will be added throughout the year.

University Administrative Fellows

Graduate students often find themselves weighing their options on whether to pursue tenure-track positions or administrative opportunities. In both instances, understanding how universities operate is critical to a successful career in academia. Established in the fall of 2014, the University Administrative Fellows (UAF) program provides an excellent opportunity for graduate students to gain greater knowledge of the administrative side of higher education. During the summer fellowship positions in a range of campus divisions are posted on the Graduate School's website for fall appointments.

Pathways with A Ph.D. Series

In collaboration with the Graduate Dean's Leadership Council, the Office of Career Services, the Office of Alumni Affairs, Graduate Alumni Initiatives, and other administrative departments across campus, the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School sponsors a series of programs each year to assist graduate students in better understanding the many career paths available with a Ph.D.  A major goal of the programs is to connect current students with graduate alumni in positions and organizations of interest to students. Please visit the Graduate School's calendar for upcoming events.


Academic Departmental Professional and Career Development Support

Some academic departments and programs appoint a job placement officer to provide career guidance to graduate students.  While the specific role of the job placement officer differs by department, placement officers are faculty and staff members who advise, mentor, and support the graduate students as they prepare themselves for the competitive job market.  The placement officer provides field-specific guidance for graduate students in the job seeking process and may provide assistance with some or all of the following: preparation of application materials, navigation of the application and selection process, preparation for teaching and research talks, and negotiation of job offers.  In some departments, the academic job search advising is done by the Director of Graduate Studies or individual advisors, particularly in the sciences and engineering.

Summer Boot Camps

Career Essentials Summer Boot Camp

This boot camp offers everything graduate students need to begin exploring a diverse range of careers and kick start their job search. The focus of this boot camp is on the practicalities of identifying and applying for a variety of jobs for Ph.D.s Topics include: Identifying your strengths and transferrable skills, personal branding, resume and cover letter writing, using LinkedIn and the Princeton alumni network, and Career Services specific resources. Post-generals graduate students from all years and departments are encouraged to attend. Check the calendar of events for the next scheduled boot camp.

Pathways with a Ph.D. Plus Summer Boot Camp

Graduate students explore the possibilities and resources for using their transferable skills - research, writing, teaching, project management - all hallmarks of a rigorous Ph.D. program in this three-day boot camp. They learn how resilience and grit play into life-long career management and are expose to the diverse range of careers fields and organizations open to Ph.D.s through conversations with graduate alumni. They dive deep into an interactive job simulation or engage in a professional activity aligned with their particular field of interest.  Graduate students from all years and departments are encouraged to attend. Check the calendar of events for the next scheduled boot camp.

Pilot Summer Internships for Humanities and Social Science Graduate Students

Graduate students in the humanities and social sciences who are interested in exploring a career outside the academy may participate in a pilot summer internship program funded by the Graduate School.  These internships are specifically designed with employer partners to be high quality and uniquely for Princeton graduate students. Please contact Amy Pszczolkowski for more information on how to get involved in the pilot program.