group of faculty interacting with students

Career Navigators mentoring program links doctoral students with alumni


Tracy Viselli

A recent report from the Council of Graduate Schools highlighted the decreasing availability of academic positions. ASU graduate students will go on to careers in industry, government, nonprofits or become entrepreneurs in addition to higher education, so it’s paramount that they are prepared for multiple career pathways. 

In an effort to expand the professional development offerings for doctoral students, the Graduate College is launching the Career Navigators initiative. This new program will connect doctoral students to ASU alumni working in various fields to enrich their career development through mentoring. Participating students will pursue individualized career goals developed as a part of an Individual Career Development Plan (ICDP). The Career Navigators program will offer career preparation activities and events in two areas: 

1. Career Trajectory — Building adaptive pathways

The job market for doctoral students has been shifting for several years, and it is critical that students consider alternative career options inside and outside the academy before they embark on their job search. The Career Navigators program will offer interactive webinars with alumni from various fields who will share lessons learned from pursuing their own career pathway. These events will afford opportunities for mentoring and networking.  

2. Career Advantage — Honing 21st-century competencies

What competencies give you an edge in building a successful career? Transferable competencies provide doctoral students with a competitive advantage for alternative career pathways. The Career Navigators program will partner with alumni to host webinars on developing and honing 21st-century career competencies: 

The social advantage

  • Communication.

  • Networking.

  • Engaging discord and conflict productively.

Transformative leaders

  • Creativity and innovation.

  • Entrepreneurship.

  • Culture and inclusion.

  • Adaptive leadership and ethics.

Effective teamwork

  • Interdisciplinary collaborations.

  • Collective problem-solving and decision-making.

Personal development

  • Healthy work habits.

  • Time management.

  • Wellness.

If you’re a doctoral student interested in learning more, register to attend the Career Navigators orientation webinar on Tuesday, June 16, at 9 a.m.