UChicagoGRAD supports you as you explore careers in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government. We invite you to browse our collection of career guides and check out Versatile PhD to learn more about the various professional pathways that may be available to you.

We understand that graduate students and postdocs consider multiple personal and professional factors when evaluating potential career paths. These factors, as outlined in the figure below, can include but are not limited to abilities, goals, interests, relationships, skills, and values. Everyone defines and prioritizes these categories differently.

The UChicagoGRAD career development team utilizes an individualized, holistic approach that takes your specific needs and considerations into account during the career exploration process. You can meet with a UChicagoGRAD career advisor to discuss your options and receive practical next steps to guide you through career exploration. If you are interested engaging in a self-assessment process to discern your skills, interests, and values, please review our self-assessment resources.

To evaluate whether a career will be fulfilling in the long term, you should first ascertain what characteristics of a job will bring you satisfaction and what factors are most important to your everyday life.

Self-assessment exercises can help you identify these factors which translate into your skills, interests, and values – all of which are important to understanding your work style, optimal work environment, and can illuminate your overall career goals.

Identifying clearly what these skills, interests, and values are through self-assessment can help you to:

  • Identify skill areas that require improvement
  • Articulate your optimal work style and environment
  • Optimize the career exploration process
  • Develop smart strategies for career development
  • Narrow down potential career paths
  • Communicate your strengths during the job search and application process

Schedule a one-on-one appointment with a career advisor to discuss self-assessment and create an actionable, strategic plan.

Additional Resources

Versatile PhD

Versatile PhD is an online resource to help graduate students and postdocs prepare for and excel in diverse careers. UChicago is an institutional subscriber, providing access to Versatile PhD premium content, FREE for students, postdocs and alumni. Please follow these instructions to register as UChicago institutional user graduate students can access Versatile PhD as follows:

Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Recent Alumni: Log in to GRAD Gargoyle as a “student/alumni” and select Versatile PhD from the Shortcuts menu on the right hand side of the screen.

Other Alumni: Sign in or register for an account on uchicagoalumni.org. Once you are logged into the Alumni Community, follow this link to sign up.

Please contact Mike Tessel with any questions.

Once inside Versatile PhD, an on-screen notification will confirm an upgrade to your account that unlocks every resource on the site. After this first visit, you will be able to log in directly to the Versatile PhD website for future visits and retain premium access.