Teaching - Career Planning

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows planning for a career in postsecondary instruction have a variety of resources at their disposal. First and foremost, meet with your faculty members and others in your discipline to learn about the nuances of the academic job market in your field. Disciplinary societies often hold educational programs and networking events for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows pursing all types of academic positions, but particularly ones that have teaching as a focus of the work. We encourage you to consult these additional resources:

  • Securing Academic Positions at 2- and 4- Year Institutions (a program run by the MSU Graduate School each fall).  This five hour workshop includes panel presentations from faculty at 2- and 4-year institutions as well as interactive sessions that allow participants to prepare for all aspects of the application process  and learn more about the cultures at 2- and 4-year institutions. Registration is open starting each September on The Graduate School workshop registration page.
  • Center for Academic and Future Faculty Excellence at Michigan State. The goal of CAFFE is to provide the necessary tools to generate individual development plans for graduate students and postdocs preparing for academic careers.These plans emerge as faculty advisors engage in “parallel mentoring”, which refers to the concurrent attention to discipline-specific research training and professional preparation for academic careers.
  • Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL).  CIRTL is an NSF-supported program focusing on promoting a high quality and inclusive STEM teaching workforce in postsecondary education. Michigan State is one of the first universities (there are now 40 members) that launched this initiative. There are webinars and short courses that graduate students and postdocs can take advantage of. See Teaching-Professional Development for more information on those programs.