Career planning for postgraduate researchers

As a busy researcher with many competing demands on your time, it can be easy to put off planning your next move. However, having clearly identified goals for the future can help you to maintain your focus and motivation. It is never too early to begin exploring options and thinking about your next steps.

Doing a self-audit

You will have numerous options available to you; however you should be aware that a PhD in itself is not a guarantee of higher level entry into employment. It is up to you ensure that you gain relevant skills and experience, and that you can market yourself effectively to employers. A useful first step is to undertake a self-audit and examine your skills, experience, motivations, needs and values. This will put you in a better position to choose the career that is right for you, and will give you some ideas about how you might market yourself to employers.

Careers Network also run a range of 'Know Your...' workshops to help you identify your motivations, skills and strengths and your personality type, and how these might help you to identify potential career options.

Career planning courses and information

Career options

Planning for:


These self-guided online courses aim to encourage postgraduate researchers to explore the skills and motivations for a career either in or outside of academia:

More career planning resources

Face to face advice

  • For face to face careers advice, you can book an appointment with the PGR Careers Adviser.
  • It is also a good idea to talk to your supervisor(s) or other academics and colleagues as they may also be able to provide you with useful information or assist you with planning your career.
students walking the path


Professional Services