Job Exploration

Listed are some of the different types of jobs that are available:

Post-doctoral Positions

Post-doc positions are research positions that are for a fixed length of time (typically 1-2 years, but they can be extended). In general, post-doc positions serve as a stepping-stone to a tenure-track faculty position, although there are government and industry post-doc appointments that are available as well. A post-doc position allows you to broaden your research ideas and learn new techniques and skills. A post-doc will also help you broaden your network of colleagues which is critical when looking for future job positions.

Factors to think about when choosing a post-doc position:

  • Career goals – does a post-doc position fit with what you want to do?
  • Research area – do you want to diversify or remain in a similar subfield?
  • The principal investigator – how does the PI run the lab and what is his/her reputation?
  • The lab – what are the facilities like? Do you like the people?
  • Funding – have you applied and received your own post-doc grant? If so, you have much more freedom on who you can work with and the type of research you can do. Or will you be supported on a faculty member’s grants? In this case you will be doing both their research and your research.
  • Research project – does the proposed project interest you?
  • Have strategies and goals set for your time as a post-doc because it goes by really fast.

Useful web resources for those interested in post-docs:

Non-academic Positions

There are many positions in the private sector or with non-profit organizations that would love to use the skills you have developed while getting your advance degree.

Faculty Positions

Faculty positions range from those that focus on research with relatively little teaching responsibilities (tier 1 research universities) to those that focus on teaching with some or no research expectations (e.g., small liberal arts, community college). The teaching and research requirements differ by institution and is something to consider when deciding your career path and the jobs you apply to.
Useful web resources for those interested in faculty positions:

Government Positions

There is no better place to make a difference to our country than in our government, which touches all aspects of our lives, from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to the roads we travel. Government employees are on the front lines of solving challenging and complex issues such as global warming, health care, and our economic health. As a civil servant, your work can have a positive impact on both our county and our world.

In our federal government, there are jobs for every type of person with every type of background, but the people most likely to succeed are those who want to have a significant impact on people’s lives and care deeply about good governance. They are “change agents” — optimistic, skilled people with a can-do attitude that is complimented by a sense of realism and practicality, recognizing that government changes come in small measures.

If you’re interested in opportunities within the Federal government, the following resources can assist you in determining if your background, skills and experiences are a good match for the roles and opportunities available.

  • The Pathways Programs offer clear paths to Federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school and to careers for recent graduates, and provide meaningful training and career development opportunities for individuals who are at the beginning of their Federal service. As a student or recent graduate, you can begin your career in the Federal government by choosing the path that best describes you and where you are in your academics:
    • Internship Program: This program is for current students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions from high school to graduate level, with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school. Additional information about the Internship Program.
    • Recent Graduates Program: This program is for individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs and seek a dynamic, career development program with training and mentorship. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years to apply). Additional information about the Recent Graduates Program.
    • Presidential Management Fellows Program: For more than three decades, the PMF Program has been the Federal government’s premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. This program is now for individuals who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years. For complete program information, visit:
  • is a free web-based job board enabling federal job seekers access to thousands of job opportunities across hundreds of federal agencies and organizations. As the Federal Government’s official source for federal job listings, job applications, and employment opportunity information, provides a variety of opportunities. To date, USAJOBS has attracted over 17 million job seekers.
  • No matter your experience level, if you are curious about obtaining work in the government, you’re in the right place. This site is designed to be your guide as you consider, apply, and secure federal employment. We’ll help you research federal agencies and government careers as well as provide practical tips for completing your application. This site will give you a glimpse into the federal government and will guide you through the application process from beginning to end. Follow them on Twitter at @gogovernment or on Facebook at
  • As the U.S. government’s official web portal, makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web.
  • Designed to help a broad audience of government leaders, employees and job seekers, the 2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings drew on responses from more than 376,000 civil servants to produce a detailed view of employee satisfaction and commitment across 371 federal agencies and subcomponents.
  • Fed Figures — Hiring at a Glance: How many people did the federal government hire last year? How does that number compare to past years? Which agencies are doing the most hiring? In a new analysis, the Partnership for Public Service examined recent federal hiring and employment data to answer these questions, and more.

Additional Job Boards