Welcome to the Careers Beyond Academia LibGuide!

This guide will help you navigate the best research sources and strategies for exploration and success in your future career. Careers Beyond Academia in Cornell's Graduate School helps PhDs and postdocs make informed choices about their careers and develop their skills through hands-on training.  Tell us about your needs via this intake survey. Attend an information session to learn how to make the most of our services. Sign up for our listserv by sending an email to gradcareers@cornell.edu. Please visit our website at gradcareers.cornell.edu to learn more and see our opportunities and events calendar.

Getting Started

Step 1: Begin by exploring career options with the help of Careers Beyond Academia. 

Step 2: Target your search by creating lists of companies in specific regions or industries. Create a list of potential contacts at each organization.

Step 3: Research the companies/organizations and do some informational interviewing to learn about their industries.

Step 4: Talk to Careers Beyond Academia staff, career advisors, colleagues, mentors, and alumni about companies, jobs and experiences that will set you apart from other applicants.

Your enrollment at Cornell gives you access to a wide array of career planning resources. Explore Management Library's tools, workshops and consultations with a member of a reference team for specific research questions. If you have questions about your research process or this guide, reach out to the Management Library!

This guide is brought to you by Careers Beyond Academia and the Management Library. Click through the tabs above for specific suggestions on how to land your perfect job. Good luck!

Cornell Career Services (CCS)

As a PhD student, you may schedule an appointment with a graduate career advisor at Cornell Career Services.(CCS) They will help you assess your strengths, define your career goals, and learn how your personality informs your career match. Follow their step-by-step guide.

  • Consult the extensive Media library of presentations on all sorts of topics from job searches, interviewing, or basic networking skills.
  • Use your Cornell netID to log in to re Career Development Toolkit modules on the Canvas platform, co-developed with professional staff and many alumni with expertise in the areas.
  • Subscribe to the CCS monthly e-newsletter CU Graduate Career News for career information and job opportunities for graduate students pursuing careers beyond academia. This newsletter is co-sponsored by the Graduate School.
  • Check the CCS Events Calendar for recurring seminars and workshops that fit with your schedule.
  • Read suggested career books and outline your approach.
  • Additional links to career services resources


It is wise to make use of mentors to help guide you throughout your career. Mentoring is when a professional in academia or in another industry gives time, attention, insight, and advice to foster you in your career. Mentors help you develop social capital within an environment where you can then acquire the resources and support to develop technical and intellectual capital. It is not just about providing office space, but introducing you to the inner workings of an organization, providing advice on how to handle various situations, and teaching interpersonal skills. Mentoring involves two-way communication that can benefit both parties. Mentoring relationships can be from afar or in person, can entail regular meetings or even no meetings. 

Be inclusive to get varied perspectives. Mentors can be inside or outside your field of study, be more or less experienced than you, and can include:

  • Peers
  • Your advisor(s)
  • Professionals within the organization
  • Professionals outside the organization
  • Family and friends, colleagues at your hobbies
  • Maybe even celebrities or famous scholars you have never met

Please contact Careers Beyond Academia staff to discuss how to connect with mentors, and reach out to the mentors who are listed in this LibGuide on the tabs for particular career paths: they are eager to talk with you. Do not ask them for a job; rather, ask them for advice and to tell you about their career and organizations they have worked for. Cornell Career Services also curates CUeLINKS to promote knowledge sharing among alumni. There you can ask questions, set up appointments, and get advice from Cornell's avid alumni population on the discussion board.

Mentoring Resources

The National Research Mentoring Network has loads of tools to connect with and become a mentor, explore how to enhance your mentoring skills, and to maximize your potential. Their many Career Development Webinars and videos in conjunction with iBiology provide tips.

Organizing Your Search