Searching for Employment as a Grad Student

Academic Positions

Entry-level academic positions are generally classified as tenure-track or non-tenure-track.  In engineering, tenure-track positions usually require a PhD and a demonstrated strong record of quality research, publications, professional recognitions and extramural funding.   To begin establishing these qualifications, a postdoctoral position is usually the first step towards obtaining a tenure track position.

Postdoc Positions
Non-Tenure Track Positions
Finding Academic Positions

Industry Positions

If your desire is to find a job in private-sector industry, please review the guidance provided in Steps 3 and 5 of the Student Guide to Employment.   Many companies consider M.S./MEng graduates for the same positions as B.S. graduates.  A bachelor’s degree may be the required degree but a master’s degree may be the preferred degree.  Networking takes on added importance in the job search process for reasons discussed in the next section.


Understand the Added Importance of Networking

Networking with potential employers is always important in the job search process, but it takes on added importance for those with advanced degrees.  Since advanced degree holders are more specialized, it often requires more effort to identify an employment position that matches their more defined skills and interests.  Industry recruiters rely more on personal connections for faculty referrals because at the graduate level faculty really come to understand their students’ skillset and the type of work they are capable of producing.   While a student, you should be using faculty contacts, alumni that you have gotten to know, professional conference participants, and recruiters at career fairs and other networking events to make connections with potential employers.

Networking is Key.fw