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Ph.D.'s & Postdoctoral Students

The USC Career Center supports Ph.D. and Postdoctoral students in their professional development where they can leverage resources, explore career options at all stages of their program, and prepare for academic or industry job search. A USC doctoral degree will provide you with the expertise and skills that can be used across industries and career paths. 

The Career Center provides professional and career development opportunities, career events to learn about various careers and industries, opportunities to network through the Trojan Network and employers as doctoral students build their skills. Students can access connectSC for resources, career events and advising appointments.  

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 connectSCadvising appointments, workshops, and career events.

Ph.D. Job Search Preparation

Before 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

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.
• 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.

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 LibGuide Research Guides Professional Associations

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.

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 events

• 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 InstagramFacebookTwitter, 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 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.

Highlighted Resources

Jump to these highlighted resources for high impact support:

Start Your Job Search Resume or CV? Discover Campus Resources


Online Resources

The USC Career Center offers multiple resources to help individuals explore their career opportunities. We have curated several of our favorite resources to help discover career paths, learn about internship positions, and find full-time jobs.




Whether you are a student, alum, or employer, connectSC is your one-stop shop for finding and posting jobs and internships!

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Student Organizations

Getting involved on campus is a great way to have fun while exploring diverse areas of interest, meet people with similar interests, and gain leadership skills. Explore involvement opportunities by searching this list of relevant student organizations.

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