Information, opportunities, and support for Master's & Doctoral students.
Leverage a variety of resources to enhance your career development as you pursue your advanced degree at USC. In conjunction with your degree program, review our resources to prepare for your academic or professional job search. As a current student, you have access to all of the services and resources, including connectSC, advising appointments, workshops, and career events.
Prepare for Your Job SearchBefore you begin submitting applications, you can take several important steps to prepare for your job search and maximize your opportunities. Consider the following steps to help you build a foundation for your job search
1. Assess how your advanced degree fits into your overall career plan.What skills does your graduate degree help you develop? Conduct industry and organizational research to help you identify related skills. To help you explore your career goals, we have the following career assessment tools available to you through the “Resources”, “Online Resources” tab in connectSC. • Your Next Step, provides access to career assessments, clarifies career goals, and helps students and alumni develop professional resumes and cover letters, as well as prepare for interviews. It also allows students to create a network, access jobs, and implement a strategic job search plan. • Versatile Ph.D. is a forum to help currently enrolled Ph.D. students in the humanities, social science, and STEM disciplines identify and prepare for non-academic careers. • Explore ImaginePhD, a free online career exploration, and planning tool for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences. • MyIDP from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) provides a web-based career-planning tool tailored to meet the needs of Ph.D. students and postdocs in the sciences.2. Build your network.Cultivate relationships with your professors, classmates, potential employers, and alumni. • Join the Trojan Network • Get involved within the USC community through Graduate Student Government and other Student Organizations. • Join professional associations and attend conferences in your field of interest. Refer to the Career Access Resource Library (CARL) or LibGuide Research Guides Professional Associations3. Find a mentor.As you network and meet other professionals, identify mentors who can provide career guidance. Your mentor(s) may help open doors once you embark on your job search. • Join the Trojan Network to reach out to alumni working in fields of your interest for career advice.4. Investigate industry trends and recruiting schedules early in your program.Identify key skills and experiences you need to develop to stay competitive in the job market. • Find opportunities to develop these skills as a student. • Seek out top employers that you want to work for and participate in recruiting events5. Attend professional events and conferences.• Beyond the Ph.D.: Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Career Conference: This conference features interdisciplinary keynote panels, industry and academic round table sessions, and career sessions. • Career Fairs (Fall/Spring): Meet employers recruiting for full-time positions and internships across a variety of industries. • Career workshops: Topics include: resume, CV and cover letter writing, interviewing strategies, job search strategies, and negotiation strategies. • Ph.D. Pathways: Career Planning and Preparation is an educational series hosted by the USC Graduate school which includes a week of academic job search workshops such as CV/Resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, negotiating job offers, and writing your teaching philosophy/research. Stay current on all events by following the Graduate School on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and blog. • School-specific career events: Contact your school-based career services office or academic department to inquire about upcoming events. • Professional associations: Check your local and national professional associations’ websites for upcoming events. Search for professional associations related to your discipline on the Career Access Resource Library (CARL) or LibGuide Research Guides Professional Associations • Visit USC The Graduate School: The Graduate School supports students regardless of program, from application to degree conferral. It’s mission is to promote an outstanding educational experience, celebrate student achievements, & provide leadership for graduate education. They are situated in the Office of the Provost and Academic Programs. • Dornsife Ph.D. Academy: The Dornsife Ph.D. Academy provides training in leadership principles, financial management, public speaking, and effective communication while offering students training in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields.