So you want an academic career, but you’re not sure about the traditional career path in your field? You’re not alone. Recently, a lot of attention has fallen on Alt-Ac (Alternate Academic) careers. Alt-Ac careers are not necessarily based in faculties or even universities, but they make great use of your research experience.
There is a huge range of roles out there. Teaching & learning advisory roles can be well-suited for those with an education background. Digital technology experts are also in demand as mobile learning and online teaching gain ground in universities. Or you can put your research experience to work with university research offices, government agencies, archives, or funding bodies. Plus there’s always corporate research & development. In short, there’s more to the academic career spectrum than postdocs and lectureships.
The team at Thesislink recently caught up with Employability and Career Specialist Rebecca Du to get her thoughts on how to prepare for an alternate academic career. Here’s what she had to say:
Here are Rebecca’s top career tips for postgrads:
- Start managing your career early – your study/research is important but it takes a lot of time to build connections, develop skills and prepare for your job search
- Vitae is a useful website to get you started with a lot of information about academic careers and planning your journey
- Develop a wide range of skills and knowledge – writing funding proposals, teaching, research, adaptability, ability to handle rejection, industry knowledge, networking etc
- Look out for scholarships – especially if you are a Masters student and planning to do a PhD. There are many scholarships available that can help you get your foot in the door to a particular institution or area of work.
- Research jobs are everywhere so don’t just look for a job title with “research” in it. Look for departments within a large organization or an area of specialty that matches your interest or research areas.
- Come & see an Employability & Career Specialist to discuss your options.