Careers in Industry and Non-Profits
Are you interested in a career in Industry or Nonprofit organization?
Investigate Different Types of Jobs
Learn as much as possible about the skills and qualifications required for job titles that interest you. The resources listed below can also help you to learn about career paths taken by other PhDs in your field.
- Versatile PhD
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Occupational Information Network (O*Net)
- Candid Career Videos
Join Professional Associations in your field
If you are interested in a career in Industry, joining a professional association is a good start. There are associations for nearly every profession or area of interest and many have national, state and regional chapters that you can join. A professional association can help you to enhance your network, by putting you in close contact with others in your field, and allow you to find a mentor to help you with your professional goals. Most associations have national or local conferences where you can have the opportunity to learn about breaking news in your career, learn "best practices" or new ideas, hear about key achievers in your field and also meet and brainstorm with others who are also looking to share and learn new information. Another important reason to consider membership to a professional organization is to take advantage of their career resources. Associations often have job listings online or in print available only to their members, which is a great way to find targeted job postings for your area of interest.
Some of the largest and most popular professional organizations include:
- The American Psychological Association
- The Modern Language Association
- The American Historical Association
- Association of American Educators
- The American Chemical Society
- The American Society for Microbiology
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- The American Public Health Association
- The American Physical Society
- National Council of Nonprofits
This list is by no means exhaustive, so do some research in your field to find out which association is right for you. Many of the associations listed above have offices and/or chapters in the Washington DC metro area, making it easy to visit them and participate in meetings throughout the year. Most associations have reduced membership rates for students and recent graduates, and discounted conference attendance fees. Don't wait, join a professional association in your field and start taking advantage of their resources!
The University Career Center & The President's Promise has developed several Industry guides that offer valuable information on industry trends and hiring timelines, as well as tips on resumes, internships and interviewing for specific industries.
The Vault career guides for industry also provide information and additional resources to help you narrow down your field of interest. You can research potential employers, browse jobs and internships, and get CV/resume advice for specific industries.
Careers in Nonprofit Organizations
A Nonprofit is an organization that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) as a "public charity" because it was formed to provide a "public benefit." Nonprofit organizations exist to fulfill a mission rather than to generate revenue and are typically supported by a mixture of grants, donations, membership dues, and earned income. PhDs can enter non-profits in a wide array of positions, from intern to researcher to policy analyst to writer to program officer. When considering a career in the Nonprofit sector, it is extremely important to seek out organizations that fit with your mission and values and align with the impact you would like to have.
Careers in Nonprofits and Idealist provide information on Nonprofit organizations and list job opportunities and internships. Both are great places to start your job search in the Nonprofit sector. Guidestar is a national database of every IRS-registered Nonprofit organization that provides information about each organization's mission, impact, finances, programs, transparency, governance, and more.