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ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences. (Assessments and General Resources are also beneficial for ALL graduate students regardless of your discipline)
Humanities and social sciences PhD students and their mentors have long recognized the need for more resources to help bridge the knowledge gap between doctoral education and the realm of career possibilities. ImaginePhD is designed to meet this need by allowing users to:
- assess their career-related skills, interests, and values
- explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines
- create self-defined goals
- map out next steps for career and professional development success
ImaginePhD consists of
- Assessments: Three online assessments allow PhD students to self-assess their career-related skills, interests, and values. Once the assessments are completed, an algorithm allows users to compare their skills and interests alignments with Job Families.
- Job Families: PhD students and postdoctoral scholars can explore potential careers by reviewing the Job Families component of the website. Sixteen job families relevant to the humanities and social sciences are contained on this page. Each job family contains detailed information about types of careers and resources to help PhD students explore, connect, build skills, and apply for positions. Sample career packets with job descriptions, cover letters, and resume examples are also contained in this section.
- My Plan: The My Plan component of the website provides PhD students and postdoctoral scholars with the opportunity to create an individual development plan (IDP) and set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based goals that will help them advance in their graduate programs and careers. My Plan also provides the opportunity for mentors and PhD students to “check-in” and agree upon the next steps in completing PhD and postdoc milestones.
Even if you entered your PhD program with a particular career path in mind, understanding oneself is important for all job searches. ImaginePhD provides career-related skills, interests, and values assessments to enhance your self- knowledge.
ImaginePhD helps you identify a variety of career pathways early so you can uncover opportunities. Doctoral education does not always include information about these opportunities and ImaginePhD seeks to bridge this knowledge gap. Early identification of careers can help you to identify “transferrable” topics or research methods for your research. ImaginePhD enables you to identify skills gaps in communication, networking, leadership, etc. while you are still a student so you can build additional learning experiences into your planning.
Finally, creating an individual development plan (IDP) can help you map out your next steps not only for your career, but to achieve the milestones of your PhD program and successfully complete it.