Reflections Newsletter

Issue 14, May 2022

This newsletter is distributed the last Thursday of the month and contains a variety of resources, links, and reflections on graduate-level career & professional development, higher education, and an occasional detour into neuroscience topics, the area I formally trained in as a graduate student and postdoc. 

Missed the inaugural newsletter from January 2021?

Read it here


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Reflections Blog: May 2022 


Highlighting Online Resources to Support Graduate-level Career & Professional Development

The community of professionals supporting graduate student and postdoctoral scholar career and professional development is one of the most sharing I have been a part of. So many individuals and organizations have contributed resources and programming online, accelerated by the need to pivot to virtual programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has resulted in an explosion of online tools, resources, and videos focused on a range of professional development topics from navigating the faculty job search to informational interviewing and negotiation. In this post, I will seek to organize and curate some of these resources to better assist graduate students, postdocs, and those who support them.

Worthy Reads

Is Graduate School Worth It? A Comprehensive Return on Investment Analysis

While the value of education cannot be completely distilled down to the earnings one will obtain afterwards, programs that burden students, both undergraduate and graduate, with debt that they will struggle to repay are a problem. In this piece, the return on investment (ROI) — the increase in lifetime earnings minus the costs of attending school — for nearly 14,000 graduate degrees was assessed. You can read more about the methodology of this analysis here.

Shifting Skills, Moving Targets, and Remaking the Workforce

The amazing research team at the Burning Glass Institute, in collaboration with BCG, recently released a report highlighting how the speed of technological advancement and recent societal shifts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in large, dynamic changes in the skills required for modern work. Specifically, they analyzed millions of job advertisements for the skills required from 2016 to 2021 for the same job titles to obtain insights into new, in-demand skills.

Four big trends in skills change emerged: 

• Digital skills in nondigital occupations
• Soft skills in digital occupations
• Visual communication
• Social media skills

Reports like this shine a light on how being flexible and able to learn and adapt to a changing world are critical. In addition, both technical and human skills are essential to succeed in the modern workplace.

Programs Worth Promoting


2022 Graduate Career Consortium (GCC) Online Conference

The conference, taking place June 24th, is open to GCC members and anyone else who would like to attend and participate in our lively and supportive community. The online conference features a keynote address by Jonathan Malesic, Ph.D., author of The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives, a variety of member-generated sessions on topics related to providing career and professional development programming and support for graduate students and postdocs, and opportunities to learn more about the GCC and interact with our collegial community of professionals. See the full program here.


SmartSkills Series

Revisiting Past Blog Posts

Data from the National Science Foundation's 2019 Survey of Earned Doctorates released in December 2020 is highlighted. Newer data will be profiled in a future blog piece.

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Data from the National Science Foundation's 2019 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (new Ph.D. graduates) released in April 2021 (and the most current data available) is highlighted.

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Considering what career options are possible, post Ph.D. or postdoc? This article shares some tools and resources to assist with the career exploration process, including links to online skills, interests, and values assessments.

Read More

More to Explore - Resources for Trainees & Those Supporting Them

Explore Job Search & Funding Resources On My Website

For Further Reading & Exploration

More About Me
Carpe Careers Column
National Science Foundation Data
Data on PhD & Postdoc Training: NGLS 
GCC Professional Development Webinars
Career & Professional Development Research

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