Careers Beyond Academia

Career Forward Sprint: Beyond the Academy

1-Month Cohort D2L Program

For postdoctoral scholars thinking about careers outside the academy. This free, fully online (D2L) program teaches strategies to help you successfully navigate your career beyond the academy while presenting your most professional self. The 1-month cohort experience covers:

1) Career research and discovery
2) Building your network and your professional self
3) Developing your application materials
4) Preparing for and practicing interviews

In typical Sprint fashion, recommended daily tasks help ensure you keep moving forward! Take a look at the Career Forward Sprint Syllabus for more detailed information about the Sprint experience. 

If you have questions or want to reserve your spot, please email sends e-mail)A new cohort begins the first Monday of every month. 

Recordings of Past Events

A Conversation about the Current Job Market

Leaving Academia: One Postdoc’s Story

Identifying Opportunities Outside the Academy: A how-to guide

Branding Yourself for Industry Positions - It's all about your language

Creating and Tailoring Industry Appropriate Application Materials

Preparing For and Acing Industry Interviews

Leaving the Academy: An International Postdoc's Story

Career Advising

The Graduate Center supports postdoctoral scholars and graduate students in their career endeavors, with a focus on the transition to industry, government, business, and non-profit employment sectors. The main contact at the Graduate Center is Shawn Nordell. Support includes identifying opportunities, conducting searches, networking, drafting application materials, and interviewing. You can schedule a 1:1 career advising appointment by emailing

Beyond the Lab Series

In the “Beyond the Lab” series, the ASPIRE Program interviews Vanderbilt PhD and postdoctoral alumni about their career path. Season 5 will launch in Fall 2021, with new episodes each Tuesday. To subscribe, find it on iTunesStitcher, SoundCloud, or the web

Other Resources

Join an Organization

Take the opportunity to join local and national organization and societies that can support your career development outside academia. By joining these organizations, you will be gaining numerous possibilities to network, have access to various recourses, and eventually get your dream job! 

Directory of Organizations
List of Professional Associations & Organizations
List of industry trade groups in the United States

Create a strong self-identification and profile

Brand yourself by creating effective communication skills and self-identification strategies. It is also important to work on your online profile and your presence in all kinds of interpersonal activities.

Online Platforms to build your online profile: