139 Tips on Preparing Students for Careers Outside of Academia

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Valerie Sloan, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and R. Haacker and R. L. Batchelor

Numbers show that the vast majority of students and postdocs will end up in careers outside of academia. However, many students report that they are unfamiliar with career options, are pressured to pursue academia, lack professional contacts, and don't know how to find jobs. This presentation will provide tips to faculty and others on helping students explore career options, develop networking skills, and prepare job application materials. Some examples include: (1) Assign students with finding news articles on topics related to their field, and have them investigate and pursue connections with the agencies and individuals identified in those articles; (2) Give students access to and practice networking with professionals from other workforce sectors through activities such as 3 x 20-minute speed networking round-table sessions; (3) Have all speakers, instructors, technicians, and visitors spend a few minutes describing their career paths and answering questions and; (4) Require students to prepare résumés, LinkedIn profiles, and emphasize the importance of practicing professional email etiquette and prudent use of social media. It is important to ensure that students feel comfortable discussing careers outside of academia as a possibility for their future. Providing this kind of professional development will support them in doing so.
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