PhD Students

Whether you are planning on going into academia or industry, there are various steps which you can take during your PhD to help secure your career of choice after graduation.

The Careers Service's Postgraduate pages are full of useful information for PhD students including online careers talks, 'How To' guides and more.

Contents

Meet with your Supervisor Networking Teaching Opportunities Academic Careers PhD Pathway event |

Internships | Search for a Job | Social Media |

Meet with your Supervisor

Speak to your supervisor about your career aspirations or postdoctoral research plans. They may have contacts and resources which would be very useful to you.

Additionally, eProg monitors your progress through the annual 'expectation milestones' report and regular meetings with your supervisor. Make the most of this, it is both an important and useful way of keeping on track. eProg also links to eScholar so you can add any papers you have had published to your profile. eProg also hosts an extensive catalogue of skills training activity, where you can view and book courses hosted across the University. Some of the courses available are:

Evidencing your Skills
Time Management for Research Success
Careers for PhD Researchers - It's Never too Early to Think Ahead (aimed at 1st years in EPS)
Careers for PhD Researchers - One Day Intensive Workshops (aimed at pre-final/final year PhDs in EPS)

Darcey Gillie, Careers Consultant for research students, also runs a range of annual talks for PhD students. These include 'Finding a job for PhDs', 'CVs for PhDs', 'Interviews for PhDs', 'Academic Careers' and 'Assessment Centres for Postgraduates'.

Make the most of Networking Opportunities 

The Calculating Careers Fair is not just for undergraduates. Many postdoctoral research positions are discovered by word of mouth and this is an ideal networking opportunity to meet face to face with employers and make useful contacts for the future. Although the stands may be focused more towards undergraduates, most employers do have more technical roles specifically for postgraduate students.

Many careers websites will only advertise for 'graduates' or 'experienced hire' but this doesn't mean they don't take on PhD students. At a recent employer event in the School of Maths, 'Connect4', most employers agreed that the best way to find out about roles for PhD students is to talk to them directly at fairs and events. Where a graduate may get a job as a 'graduate engineer', for example, a PhD may be invited to go straight into a professional role as an 'engineer' and will typically be paid up to £10,000 more. There are also usually research roles available, specifically for PhD students.

Look into who is attending the fair in advance and research employers that interest you so that you know who to speak to and what to ask at the fair.

Gain some teaching experience 

Gaining teaching experience and making the most of outreach opportunities can give a significant boost to your CV. Employers often look for potential employees who can demonstrate that they can clearly and effectively communicate with others, and teaching is one way for PhD students to gain such valuable skills and experience. 

Explore your Academic Career options

The Careers Service has an award winning Academic Careers website for postgraduate students. It contains all the information you might need, from deciding whether an academic career is right for you to searching for jobs, making applications and how to get through assessments and interviews.

Attend the PhD Pathway event 

The annual ‘PhD Pathways’ event is held at the University in June. It attracts over 500 delegates and dozens of speakers, all former PhDs. It covers both academic and non-academic careers across twenty different workshops. The event is designed to provide information on the wide range of opportunities available to PhD researchers and research staff and help them to make important career choices and future plans.

‌Careers Consultant - Karen Butterworth 

Need advice on your graduate scheme application or updating your CV for careers fair, book an appointment with Karen Butterworth. To book an appointment with Karen you need to visit CareersLink, ‘make an appointment’ and look for Maths Alan Turing Appointments.

Complete an internship

Many students aren't aware that you can take work experience during your PhD, as long as it is completed within the duration of your 4 year course. Having work experience on your CV is a good way of showing transferrable skills to employers.
In a University of Manchester careers blog post by Chris Manley (senior careers consultant at Warwick University), entitled 'Life after the PhD', he suggests that the potential tripwires for students going for careers outside of academia are 'perceived lack of business acumen and teamwork skills'. Having work experience on your CV will show a more diverse range of skills outside of your course.

Maria Thorpe

Maria completed a 3 month fellowship with the Paliamentary Office of Science and Technology during her PhD.

Search for a job

You can find academic vacancies on websites like jobs.ac.uk and ecm selection.

 

Many jobs and opportunities are not always widely advertised.  You should make the most of any networking events during your PhD and use such contacts to discover potential employment opportunities.

Use Social media

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook is becoming more and more useful in making contacts and finding work. Maintaining a professional and active online identity is very important. There are lots of useful articles online, on things like making the most of your LinkedIn profile, such as this youtube video from LinkedIn's own series- 'LinkedIn for UK Students: You Careers Starts Here'. Alternatively you can visit our Social Media and Networking page for more information. 

There are many LinkedIn groups you can join who will advertise opportunities as they come up, such as the PhD Careers Outside of Academia group. You may also have made some useful connections on LinkedIn with people you have met at careers events, fairs or have been introduced to at university. Following them on social media is another good way of finding out about opportunities through word of mouth.

The Careers Service twitter accounts are a great source of information for all students; you can follow @ManPGCareers on Twitter for information, advice and job vacancies specifically for postgraduate students.

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