Exploration can provide ideas, options and connections for potential careers and opportunities you may never have heard about or have known if you had not explored. The more career information you can acquire, the more options and opportunities will present themselves.

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Books for Career-Related Information

All of the following books can be found in the MCW Todd Wehr Library.

Guide to Nontraditional Careers in Science

Karen Young Kreeger
Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis 1999

This book was written for the purpose of stimulating graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to consider careers outside of academia. Todd Wehr Library Call #: Q 147 K92g 1999 / ISBN: 1560326700

Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower

Cynthia Robbins-Roth
San Diego: Academic Press 1993

This is a multi-authored text, providing a perspective on 22 nonacademic career tracks. Although the term alternative careers is a misnomer, the descriptions of these career possibilities along with the attendant qualifications and expectations is very useful. Todd Wehr Library Call #: Q 149 A466 1998 / ISBN: 0125893752

The Academic Job Search Handbook

Mary Morris Heiberger and Julia Miller Vick
Philadelphia, PA: University Of Pennsylvania Press 2001

This is a comprehensive resource which starts with information on the structure of academic careers, the hiring process, and planning your job search. It deals extensively with vitae including a discerning gem of advice to tailor your vita to each position for which you apply. There are also chapters on interviewing, accepting/rejecting job offers, and additional guidance for special situations such as dual career couples, foreign nationals, etc. Todd Wehr Library Call #: LB 2331 H465a 2001 / ISBN: 0812217780

Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering

Richard M. Reis
New York: Wiley Interscience 1997

This is a well-written book on how to prepare, compete, and succeed in an academic career. It provides some perspective with an overview of the modern academic enterprise. The author walks systematically through the stages of a scientific career including preparation, applying for positions, first years on the job, and achieving tenure. Todd Wehr Library Call #: Q 149 R375t 1997 / ISBN: 0780311361

Websites for Career-Related Information



Teaching Opportunities in the Local Area

  Informational Interviewing

What is informational interviewing?

  • It can provide an insider's view of the field or market, assist you to learn about the accurate day-to-day aspects of a career, occupational field, and work environment; identify key organizations that match your interests, identify how organizations post employment vacancies in the field, help you learn of the valued skills of a desired position, and understand how you will be evaluated during an interview.

  • It is not a job interview. When handled appropriately, you can ask about how to locate and pursue employment opportunities or increase your marketability.

Who do you interview?

  • Anyone who you believe could provide you information about your field. This can include practitioners in your field, a friend, relative, or an alumnus who went through your program.

How to prepare for an informational interview:

  1. Send a formal letter, call, or email. Introduce yourself and provide information of how you learned of this individual. Request a time to talk either in person or on the phone. Attach or send your resume (for industry/government) or C.V. (for academia) as appropriate.

  2. Phone the individual or meet with them in person. The interview can last between 20 minutes to an hour.

  3. Send a thank you note within 24 hours stating your appreciation of their time and advice. It is best to send a hard copy, but email is okay if it is the only possibility.

  4. If you decide to pursue a career or employment as a result of the interview, it is important to email or call the individual with an update.

Example questions:

  • How did you get started within your position? What does your day consist of?

  • What is the most rewarding and/or toughest part of your position?

  • What types of employers hire in this field?

  • What kinds of skills are needed in your position?

  • What kind of educational preparation or training is needed for this position?

  • Do you recommend anyone else to speak with in this field? May I have permission to use your name when I contact them?

  • Do you recommend any professional societies to join? Journals to read?

  • Is there any other additional information that would be important for me to know about this field and/or position? Any further information that you feel you would have liked to have known before embarking in this field that would be important for me to know?