Exploring Your Options

There are many career options for PhD trainees. Use the following tools to learn about various career paths and start narrowing down your options.

The Fantasy, The Ideal, and The Reality of Career Exploration

You might have a fantasy about getting to your dream career or have an idealized notion of what the process of career exploration looks like. The reality is that career exploration is often a messy and iterative process; it’s also hard work! Watch this video created by the MIND program at UCSF to see what career exploration is really like.

Career Paths

Career Paths features overviews of multiple careers and includes interviews and videos of alumni sharing insights into their careers and how they transitioned into their jobs. Ways to gain experience and skills are highlighted for each career.

Career Panels and Career Communities

Attend the iCAN Speaker Series and participate in the OPTIONS Career Communities.

NIH Career Symposium, Bethesda, MD

This free, annual one-day symposium every May has career panels from a large variety of career paths for biomedical PhDs and Postdocs. PDCO arranges free shuttle transportation for JHU students who want to attend.
Visit NIH Career Symposium Website

Versatile PhD

Versatile PhD is an online community dedicated to non-academic and non-faculty careers for PhDs in STEM fields, as well as the humanities and social sciences. The site provides information on career paths, job listings, and opportunities to network with other PhDs both online and at in-person meet-ups. Johns Hopkins has an institutional subscription to Versatile PhD, giving you access to a wealth of information and contacts.
Visit Versatile PhD JHU Login Portal


This is a free service by AAAS that allows users to evaluate their own skills, interests, and values to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Users can explore various career paths and set goals for improving skills.
Visit MyIDP Site


This site is geared toward humanities and social science PhDs, but their career resources and career paths pages are broadly applicable to all PhD trainees.
Visit ImaginePHD Site

INTERsect Job Simulations

Try out job simulation exercises in a variety of PhD Careers with this interactive tool developed by Washington University in St. Louis.
Visit INTERsect Job Simulations Site

PDCO Online Library

Our office has a number of books available for PhD and Postdoc trainees to check out.
Visit PDCO Online Library

Informational Interviews

Talking with career professionals is a great way to learn more about a particular job field or company, while growing your scientific network.
Use these guidelines for successful informational interviews.

Biomedical Workforce Data

Published by the Graduate Medical Sciences at Boston University, this resource provides biomedical job market reports since 2015. Reports are split into industry groups including Academic Research, Business and Administration, Communication, Industry Research, Law, Policy, and Teaching.