Career Exploration and Development Tools

Career Exploration and Development Tools

Indivdiual Development Plan
The Individual Development Plan (IDP) helps students be intentional about setting goals and planning for a career while in graduate school. It also supports students in assessing individual skill sets relative to career goals and documenting progress in acquiring both the depth of research and breadth of other skills sought by employers. The University of Pittsburgh has designed the IDP template to assist graduate students in identifying professional goals and objectives, assessing skills sets relative to career goals, and developing a plan to acquire the skills and competencies to achieve career objectives.

Self-Assessment Exercises

Foundations of Successful Career Planning and Development Course
Foundations of Successful Career Planning and Devlelopment is a credit-bearing course providing foundational training in self-directed professional development and career planning. Key skills that graduate students and postdocs build are:

  • Increasing your capacity for self-directed career development
  • Fostering life-long career management habits
  • Maximizing your scholarly training success
  • Shaping positive career outcomes

All Divisions (Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities)
Versatile PhD is an online community dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for doctoral students. 

For writing and revising grant proposals, see this helpful handout, Grant Proposals (or Give Me the Money!), from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's writing center.

Natural Sciences 
A well-established interactive website, myIDP, is designed as a career-planning tool for doctoral students and postdocs in the sciences. A four-step process involves self-assessment, career exploration, goals, and implementation.

Humanities and Social Sciences
ImaginePhD was developed by experts from over 50 universities under the auspices of the Graduate Career Consortium. This newly launched career exploration and planning tool is designed specifically for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in humanities and social sciences. On ImaginePhD, students will be able to assess career-related skills, interests, and values, explore career paths appropriate to their discipline, create self-defined goals, and map out the next steps for their career.

Additional University of Pittsburgh Career Development Resources

Career Center Career Services for Graduate Students
Drop-in hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Career Center Career Services for Graduate Students offers resume help, mock interviews, etc. 

Center for Doctoral/Postdoctoral Career Development
Academic centers continue to serve as the primary source of career support for graduate students; however, the Center for Doctroal/Postdoctoral Career Development has been established to leverage institutional resources to meet the career development needs of doctoral and postdoctoral trainees across all schools. The center provides workshops and resources specifically designed for doctoral and postdoctoral students.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute's RCR Workshops
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute hosts lectures and case study-centered workshops on research ethics. 

Office of Academic Career Development's Research Series
The Office of Academic Career Development is dedicated to providing professionals in the schools of the health sciences with the tools, resources, and support they need to achieve their full potential as leaders in biomedical research, education, and clinical practice.

Writing Center Services for Graduate Students
The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring for graduate students, as well as dissertation boot camps and writing days.

University Library System Services for Graduate Students
The Univesity Library System provides a variety of services and programming for graduate students, including workshops on scholarly communication and publishing.