Career planning

Explore your options

Deciding what you’ll do after your degree requires planning, preparation and an understanding of how your degree can guide your career options. There are many resources to help you reflect on your unique skills and experience and how this can translate into a meaningful career. Careers may be in academia, public service, corporate or not-for-profit sectors as well as small, medium and entrepreneurial enterprises.

Professional careers

Your graduate research degree equips you with both general and specialised skills, preparing you for professional roles in a wide variety of industries and organisations.

The University's Careers and Employability team, along with the Researcher Development Unit, provide you with advice and resources to set you on the right path for a professional career, including putting you in touch with alumni who are working in professional fields. Your supervisors and advisory committee are another resource on professional careers, not just your academic future – start by asking them about their experience of industry, application of research, leading employers in the field and their networks.

Then build on your own network! The University’s Ask Alumni program is a great tool for graduate researchers. It is open to all students, offering one-off professional conversations with alumni from across the world, anywhere, anytime. Its quick and simple to register, to start connecting and to find out more visit our website. Use the program to understand more about pathways beyond academia, translating skills for industry and gain employer insights – our alumni know what it is like to make the jump to industry and are ready to share.

Unsure where to start? Join the Careers and Employability LMS Community here to help guide you through the services available to you, including finding up to date labour market data to support your decision making and how to research industries and employers that fit you. A great place to start is our module Exploring the world of work – remember to join first so you can access our free modules.

To receive weekly updates on graduate employment programs, jobs, careers events and more, login to the EmployMe platform, where you can access a range of career tools and articles. Once logged in you’ll automatically be registered for the weekly careers newsletter, sent every Friday afternoon.

Academic Careers

Most academic positions involve undertaking research and teaching in higher education. The University provides you with a number of opportunities to help set yourself up for an academic career.

The following programs are designed to help you prepare for a career in academia:

  • The Careers Centre also has useful advice and links that will help you to find out more about pursuing a career in academia.
  • Research Professional is a comprehensive database of national and international funding opportunities available to Australian researchers. The University's Research funding databases page also lists additional information on how to look for funding sources.

Careers and Employability

Develop your employability while you study. Whether you’re exploring your employment options, crafting your resume and cover letter, or applying for roles —we’re here to equip you with the services you need to develop your career.

The Careers and Employability team offer specialised advice, programs, and tools to help you kickstart your career while you study. We also offer tailored and general support such as 1:1 consultations, workshops and discussion groups. These services are designed to develop your ability to translate research skills into employability skills, find jobs with purpose and fit, and prepare you for recruitment. Learn more about our services


“Very valuable discussion and great panel of presenters. Fantastic facilitators and the conversation flowed smoothly and in a timely manner as a result. Thank you for providing this opportunity for students.”

“Great sessions that showed me there are many options for careers after a PhD. Thank you to the organisers and panel members.”

- 2020 Graduate research student survey responses

How career-ready are you?

Before you know where you want to go, you need to understand where you are – we call this your career readiness stage. Find out more about your career readiness stage and what you need to do next to prepare for your transition from study to work.

Career development and job application guides

Join our Careers and Employability LMS Community to access guides on a range of career topics from finding a career that’s right for you to responding to key selection criteria, and much more.

Once you’ve joined the community, explore the self-pacing learning modules here.

Popular tools to help you with your job search and job applications

Internships and placements

There are a number of opportunities for you to undertake internships and placements. These are a good way of getting experience in your field and building up your network of contacts for future job opportunities.

Visit the Graduate Research Internships page for more information on internships for graduate researchers at the University of Melbourne.

Become a member of the alumni community

The alumni community at the University offers many fantastic benefits and services to thousands of past students. After graduation, you too can become a member of this connected and supportive community.

The Alumni website has information for recent graduates including access to a portal for you and your fellow alumni to fully participate in this community and to build mutually beneficial relationships. Once you have registered with Alumni and Friends , you will have access to the full range of events, services, benefits and news available to you – and make sure to keep your contact details updated!

Next: Publishing my research