Supporting career development and employability of PhD researchers at KBS

Typically, career paths of PhD researchers tend to branch into four main directions:

  • employment in academia (e.g. post-doctoral research, lecturer)
  • employment in industry (e.g. financial modellers, management consultants, investment analysts)
  • employment in the public sector, charity and non-governmental sector (e.g. fund management, project management)
  • starting your own business

This page offers key employability resources to support your career planning and development.


Career Management for Early Career Academic Researchers is a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) which aims to support researchers to explore their career options and make career plans. Over 1000 research students and research staff from across the UK and beyond engaged with the first course in March 2018. Here’s what they said:

This course has been fantastic, particularly as I am at a stage where I am finishing my PhD and was worrying about what comes next. I didn’t realise a lot of the things about academic and non-academic career paths, and have found the self reflection tasks invaluable.

The course is impeccably designed, perfectly structured and neatly organised.

My motivation to take control of finding my future career has increased exponentially from the day I started this course.

As before, through a series of articles, videos, discussions, and reflective exercises, researchers will be encouraged to consider what they want out of a career; to explore the academic career path and many other career options; and to increase their confidence in job search and applications.

The MOOC is a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, and University of Sheffield, and has been developed by careers professionals who are experienced in working with research students and research staff.

It’s a free online course and open to research students and early career research staff. Start date: various

Also on this page:

  1. University of Kent – Graduate School (Postgraduate Research)
  2. Vitae
  3. Your PhD – What next?
  5. Starting your own business
  6. Personal consultations – appointments
  7. Improving your employability – using social media

PhD Kent

Click on the blue headings or images to access resources below.

1. University of Kent – Graduate School

Graduate School website

All you need to know about making a success of your PhD at the University of Kent, comprising training opportunities for employability.

2. Vitae

vitae logo

Careers information tailored to academic researchers in the UK. Whether you want to pursue an academic career or apply your skills and knowledge outside of academia, this is one of the key starting points for advice and ideas.

For helpful tips about how to write an academic CV and examples, see

For tips about how to write an effective cover letter see


1.1. Researcher Career Stories

Browse over 150 career stories from researchers for inspiration.

PhD Kent group

3. Your PhD – What next?

A PhD offers the options of working either in academia or in industry/not for profit sector and any other careers that any other postgraduate course might offer.

If you wish to explore the academic route, click here. This information is provided by TargetPostgrad (TargetJobs), and includes career progression and potential earnings.

For more general information about any other postgraduate options, click here. 



Prospects PhD logo

This site is run by Graduate Prospects, one of the leading careers publishers in the UK. There are four key topics:

  • What jobs can I do with a PhD? (Career profiles of typical PhD jobs)
  • How do I get a non-academic job? (job hunting tips and Graduate Prospects jobs database)
  • How do I sell my PhD to employers? (Articulating the skills developed through your PhD)
  • What do other PhD graduates do? (Employment statistics and information)


For careers advice and job vacancies in academia and elsewhere.


5. Starting your own business

This link will take you to the section about starting your own business on this blog and some inspiring success stories from past KBS students.


6. Careers advice – personal appointments

Irena pixAt KBS, Gemma Witts (Medway) and Nicola Urquhart (Canterbury), Lecturers in Careers and Employability, who are also qualified and experienced careers practitioners, offer personal, free, confidential careers consultation appointments.

cesLocationIn addition you are entitled to careers appointments offered by the central Careers and Employability Service at the University of Kent.

Click here for details and link for getting an appointment.



7. Improving your employability skills – using social media

The following are suggestions to help you improve your employability.


Consider running a blog about your research. This will provide you with exposure and enhance your written communication skills. In addition, this will help you build an online presence. The following site will provide you with further inspiration:

The University of Kent has its own blog site – You will see many examples of blogs about a wide range of research. In particular, there’s a page for KBS research highlights.

There are many established online research communities, and perhaps one or two are of particular use for your research interest. Click here for links and suggestions.