VCU Career Services provides a variety of career- and professional development-related resources for graduate and first-professional students. Whether you’re interested in an academic or nonacademic track after graduation, we have a variety of resources to help reach your goals and enrich your career.
We can help you with:
We encourage you to use the tools available online and in our office to help you determine the best career direction for you. Schedule an appointment with your career advisor or attend one of the many events offered by our office or by your college or school to seek out additional ways to enrich your VCU education.
You have pursued graduate or professional education and now you have a choice – would you like to focus your career on continued research and teaching, or are you more interested in applying what you have learned outside of the academy?
You may have only experienced the academic setting thus far, and if that’s the case, it’s important to investigate what other settings are like and whether they are a good fit for you. Identify what skills and experiences are needed in the sector in which you want to work, and proceed to implement your career plan accordingly.
While it’s true that most careers do not follow a linear or predictable path, to actively manage your career success, it is vital that you consistently reflect on your career goals and plan the steps you will take to achieve them.
These tools can be used on your own time and at your discretion or as a complement to working one-on-one with a career advisor.
Planning tools and resources
Skills, interests and value assessments
The more you know about yourself, the more confident you'll feel in taking next steps. Connecting your values to your studies and career adds clarification. Knowing what you don't want is just as important as knowing what you want. Discovering your interests and uncovering your skills further enables you to take that next step.
Preparing Future Faculty Program
Learn to become a great professor through the VCU Preparing Future Faculty Program. This short course series provides those interested in careers in academia with the skills necessary to effectively educate and addresses current issues and trends in college classrooms. Courses are open to all degree-seeking graduate students. Graduate students who are enrolled full-time can register for the courses at no additional charge as long as their total semester enrollment does not exceed 15 hours.
Higher education job search resources
The majority of postings for teaching and research opportunities are found in specialized websites that cater to higher education as well as each college or university’s own website. As you begin your search, familiarize yourself with each school’s hiring cycle as they often differ depending upon the institution and sometimes the subject area.
Writing a teaching philosophy
A teaching philosophy is a brief statement that details your outlook on teaching, describes your teaching methodology and justifies your rationale for your methods as an educator. Your teaching philosophy should convince the reader that you think deeply about your approach to teaching and your goals as an educator, and it should summarize the other sections of your portfolio. Learn more about how to write a teaching philosophy.
Writing a research statement
You may be asked to provide a research summary, statement or proposal. Pay close attention to which word is used. In most cases, the word summary signifies that you should focus on your current research. If asked for a statement, focus on writing about your current research as well as your aspirations for future research.
The purpose of such a statement is to provide a search committee a general understanding of your research interests and who you are as a researcher. Research statements also give committees clues about your writing and your potential fit within the department. Learn more about how to write a research statement.
Writing a diversity statement
Many institutions ask for a diversity statement as a part of the application process. A diversity statement is simply a brief synopsis of your philosophy on diversity and can take several forms. It can detail your ability to challenge and support diverse students the classroom, how you address diversity in your research, or how your personal experiences have prepared you to thrive in diverse settings.
An effective statement adds value to your application. Even if it is not requested, it is recommended that you include a brief statement as a part of your application package or include it as a part of your teaching philosophy. Learn more about incorporating a diversity statement into your application.
An intentional and successful job search plan can take months to implement, from the initial research phase to application to interviews to job offer. Get a jump-start on your planning with the resources available to you through VCU Career Services.
Research career fields
Understanding how your interests, skills and experiences match with the variety of career fields out there is an important step in helping you target organizations you’d like to work for and jobs that interest you.
Meet with your career advisor
Your career advisor can meet with you one-on-one to discuss your career goals and answer all of your burning questions:
Search for opportunities
The Versatile PhD helps graduate students and Ph.D.s identify, prepare for and excel in professional careers by providing unique and instructive content, networks, job analytics and readiness tools.
Semester course; 2 lecture hours per week for seven weeks. 1 credit. Prerequisite: graduate standing. This course is designed to assist participants as they navigate the challenges faced when making career choices in a complex global economy. Includes opportunities for self- and career-skills assessment.
We love talking to student organizations, classes and, well, anybody about career services. Fill out our form to request a presentation and someone from our office will get back to you soon.