Develop your career during your research studies

We have a variety of helpful resources to help you achieve a good career outcome while you're completing your PhD.

From books to websites plus hints and tips, explore the options below.

Consider career prospects with a PhD

Your career goals, labour market factors and how well you develop your career during your research studies will determine whether a PhD will help your career prospects. It's advisable to conduct industry research to ascertain how prospective employers might view your PhD, as many Australian employers insist on accompanying professional experience.

You can explore potential research career options on the websites listed below in other resources.

Other resources

Build your skills

The key to achieving a good career outcome from PhD studies is to start identifying and mapping valued workplace skills as early as possible, and to keep building good career prospects throughout.

Valued workplace skills include:

  • analytical thinking
  • problem solving
  • independence, autonomy and self-management
  • collaboration and teamwork
  • project management
  • written and oral communication
  • creativity.

Build good career prospects

You can continue to develop good career prospects while you complete your PhD by:

  • keeping an up-to-date resume
  • developing networking skills and using them regularly
  • identifying opportunities for engagement such as tutoring, advising industry groups and organising conferences
  • keeping abreast of industry trends such as changes to research funding, priority areas and university policies.

Other resources

The University of Manchester's site An Academic Career has a range of tips for planning for aspiring academics.

An Academic Career

A Degree of Certainty: Career Options for Post Graduate Research Students provides career planning tips, labour market information and strategies to market your PhD related skills effectively to employers.

A Degree of Certainty

The Thesis Whisperer is a blog newspaper dedicated to the topic of doing a thesis. It provides a great way to connect with others and share challenges, tips, ideas and strategies, and has some excellent material on career development.

The Thesis Whisperer

Beyond the PhD is a UK website with excellent articles and videos that can help with career planning and decision making.

Post the PhD

The Higher Education Research and Development Agency brings together and informs anybody interested and involved in the improvement of teaching, learning and policy in higher education.


Higher degree Research Graduate Attributes outlines the key skills and attributes you should be developing during your studies.

Research graduate attributes

Beyond doctorates downunder: maximising the impact of your doctorate from Australia and New Zealand, edited by Carey Denholm and Terry Evans (2009) ACER Press. A collection of essays about a variety of career pathways following PhD completion.

Doctorates Downunder, keys to successful doctorate study in Australia & New Zealand, edited by Carey Denholm and Terry Evans (2006) ACER Press. 
A comprehensive collection of essays to guide doctoral candidates through the amazing journey of doctoral study. Includes chapters on candidature, supervisor relationships and career development.

Managing Your Academic Career: Strategies for Success, Royce Sadler (2000) Allen & Unwin
A guide to academic life, job searching and promotions, teaching, publishing and PhD studies. 

Moving on in your Career, Lynda Ali & Barbara Graham (2000) RoutledgeFarmer
Helping PhD and contract researchers make pathways into their future careers. A UK perspective from two well-respected advisors in the area. What is required to make a continuing career in academia and advice on taking alternative career paths.  

The complete academic: a career guide, edited by John M Darley, Mark P Zanna and Henry L Roedeiger (2003) American Psychology Association.

Make an appointment

Discuss your career options with a Career Development Consultant