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Curious about what you can do with a PhD in the humanities or social sciences? Check out ImaginePhD!

Are you a doctoral student in the humanities or social sciences? Are you thinking about what you’d like to do after your PhD and wondering how to explore your options? Do you have ideas of long-term goals but not sure how to plan for them?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, ImaginePhD is the career exploration and planning tool for you. Designed especially with doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences in mind, ImaginePhD (a project of the Graduate Career Consortium) has resources and tools applicable for students in every stage of their programs, and for career paths both within and beyond academia.

And even more importantly: all UC Berkeley grad students have free access! Go here to create your account.

But you may be wondering: What can I use Imagine PhD for? Here are some common concerns and how ImaginePhD can help you address them:

I don’t know what kind of career I want or could do after getting my PhD.

  • Take an interests assessment to start thinking about the activities and responsibilities you enjoy in the workplace and which you don’t.
  • Take a values assessment to reflect on what’s important to you and how you can find a work environment that lines up with your values.
  • After doing the assessments, see how your interests and values align with fifteen different job families. Save job families to your profile to explore resources associated with each.
  • Read a profile on a PhD’s career transition to learn about their experiences. There are also articles, “day in the life” profiles, field overviews, essays, and more!

I’m not sure what skills I should be developing while in graduate school.

  • Take a skills assessment to evaluate the skills you already have and identify gaps to focus on.
  • Explore the “Build Skills” section in the dedicated resource hub for each of ImaginePhD’s fifteen job families. See what skills people use for careers in this job family and learn more on how to develop them.
  • Conduct a job simulation for a task associated with a certain career in the “Explore” section of each job family’s resource hub for a real-world example of the skills needed in a job.

I know what career paths interest me, but I’m not sure how to find job listings or prepare application materials.

  • Your best friend will be the “Apply” section within each job family’s resources.
  • Find search engines for postings in that area and learn what key search terms to use.
  • View sample tailored resumes and cover letters for specific positions.
  • Learn to read between the lines with an analyzed job description for a position in that job family.

I have some ideas for my goals, but I don’t know how to create a plan that fits in with the other demands of my grad student career.

  • Use the “My Plan” feature to set short- and long-term goals and create an individual development plan (IDP) that establishes a timeline.
  • View suggested goals if you need ideas, and export planned events to your personal calendar to ensure you integrate them in your work.

If you have questions about how to use ImaginePhD or would like to talk through your results or plan, we’re always happy to meet with you in a GradPro individual consultation! Career exploration and preparation can be daunting, but with ImaginePhD, things can feel a lot more approachable.

Create your Imagine PhD account and start exploring for the future today!


About the Author: Alicia Roy holds a Ph.D. in German from UC Berkeley and is a Hitchcock Postdoctoral Fellow in the GradPro office of the Graduate Division.