How do you plan an academic career, from the first day of graduate school through the course of your professional career? Use the planning tools below to help you understand and meet expectations, identify and develop your transferable skills, and transition successfully into your desired career.

Professional Development: PREP

PREP is the MSU Graduate School career and professional development model, designed to help you plan for a successful doctoral and postdoc experience and a smooth transition into your future role in academia, government, industry, corporations, or agencies. The acronym PREP foregrounds four professional skills that are key to your doctoral and professional career:

  • planning throughout the graduate program to identify and successfully achieve career goals;
  • developing resilience and tenacity to thrive through personal and professional stages;
  • practicing active engagement in making important life decisions and in acquiring the skills necessary to attain career goals; professionalism in research and teaching.

The PREP model is organized around our career matrix, which allows you to plan according to where you are in your program, postdoc, or job search. Explore PREP and start evaluating your skills, locating resources you need now, and building your plan to achieve your career goals.

Career Paths

One graduate degree can open up several different professional options. What additional knowledge do you need to maximize your success in specific career paths? Check out these sections of the website to start planning.

Academic Careers

You have focused on your disciplinary expertise. Have you thought about the other skills you will need to develop to transition into an academic career? What kinds of careers are available in the academy outside the tenure-stream academic track, and how do you prepare for those?   

Beyond the Academy

In order to prepare for career paths that best match your skills and interests, it’s worthwhile to take some time to explore the wide variety of options available to you. What are possible pathways in the public, private, and non-profit sectors?