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Career development

Career development is a lifelong process of understanding one’s skills, values, and interests; exploring the contexts and in which those may find resonance; and setting and progressing toward professional goals.

Graduate student career development

Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) provides comprehensive career development support for Master’s and PhD students in The Graduate School in all stages of their graduate studies, and with all career interests. NCA offers many resources and programs to facilitate career exploration and the development of job search skills:

Postdoctoral trainee career development

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides career resources and advising for postdoctoral trainees across Northwestern.

Postdoctoral trainees can also access many Northwestern Career Advancement programs and resources (excluding one-on-one advising).

Online resources

All graduate students and postdoctoral trainees: Versatile PhD (sign on with NetID)

All graduate students and postdoctoral trainees: APA 

Humanities and social sciences: ImaginePhD 

Life sciences: myIDP 

ChemicalsSciences: ChemIDP  

Management and organization

Management for Scientists and Engineers Certificate Program (Doctoral Students)

Successful researchers in engineering and the life and physical sciences face daily challenges managing and leading teams, communicating with business-oriented colleagues, and surmounting the hurdles associated with the commercialization of research. But doctoral students in these fields are seldom exposed to these situations before entering academia or industry. To address this gap, The Graduate School partners with Kellogg School of Management to offer a certificate program taught by Kellogg faculty that will equip promising post-candidacy doctoral students with the necessary business and leadership skills. 

Read more about the Management for Scientists and Engineers Certificate Program.

Management for Scientists and Engineers Certificate Program (Postdoctoral Trainees)

The Graduate School provides the opportunity for a select group of postdoctoral trainees in science and engineering fields to participate in this Kellogg School of Management executive education certificate course. The five-day program provides an introduction to business concepts related to accounting, strategy, finance, marketing, and management. 

Read more about the Business for Scientists Executive Education Program.

Personal effectiveness

National Center for Faculty Diversity online resources

Develop 10 core professional skills with the support of the National Center for Faculty Diversity resources and community. Northwestern University institutional membership provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows access. 

National Center for Faculty Diversity Online Resources


NUCats offers educational and training programs that help investigators and research staff gain the skills they need to conduct clinical and translational science research: