Research Stage:
Evaluate Your Best Opportunities

Complete quizzes for each of the lessons for Know Your Options and Evaluate Your Opportunities to earn a certificate of completion. You must earn 80% or better on each quiz. To apply, email

What do you want to try next? 

This is the second stage in a PhD Career Transition. At the beginning of the Research Stage, you’ll consider a range of career options. 

This course will help you carefully and strategically gather information about these various career fields so that you can evaluate these options and identify career fields that align with your values and interests, use your talents and skills, and require minimal retraining.

At the end of this stage of career transition, you’ll evaluate these options and choose one career pathway to focus on in the Implementation Stage of the job search.

Our research shows that a successful job search is one that is laser-focused on landing an opportunity in one career field.

To make a successful career transition will require that you master the discourse of a career field, translate your academic work experience, build a new expertise in a professional career field, and build a community of practitioners who can help you unlock the hidden job market in their field.

Doing this for one career field will take a lot of effort. You cannot be all the things to all the people. A scattered, broad, job search will lead to frustration.

Worried that you’ll make the wrong decision? As you build your career, you’ll gather more information about yourself, the professional workforce, and the kinds of opportunities that are best suited for your talents, interests, and skills. You can change jobs, or careers, again. 

You’re not choosing what you’ll do for the rest of your life. You’re simply choosing what you’d like to try next

In this 8-lesson course, we’ll help you evaluate possible careers that align with your skills, interests, and values. We’ll also help you recognize successful job search strategies.

In this course, you’ll learn how to:

    • Translate your academic work experience into the language of non-academic employers
    • Use LinkedIn to grow your network and research career options
    • Write a general resume that highlights your transferable skills
    • Determine which career you should try next

Each lesson is accompanied by guiding questions and exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned. We recommend that you download the form fillable PDF workbook and type out (or write out!) your answers as you work through the course. 


Learn about the 4 stages of PhD career transition and identify the goals and questions you should focus on at the Research Stage, and the steps PhDs take when making their career transition.

How to Persuade People to Hire You

Job searching involves persuasive communication: your goal is to provide evidence that you can do a job in a way that a hiring manager will understand and find compelling. This lesson will help you describe your transferable skills using the language of the professional workforce.

Getting Started with Linkedin

Learn to love LinkedIn! In this lesson, you’ll learn the purpose behind LinkedIn and how to create goals and strategies for using the platform. We’ll share with you common mistakes PhDs make when getting started with LinkedIn, and how you can avoid making these common mistakes.

How to Build Your LinkedIn Profile

This lesson will help you maximize your presence on LinkedIn by helping you articulate your value to employers using the various sections of the LinkedIn profile. 

Using LinkedIn to Research Career Options

LinkedIn is one of the best spaces to gather information about potential career fields. This lesson will walk you through how to use the platform to connect with practitioners, find and share resources, and be a good citizen of the LinkedIn community. 

The Key to a Successful Career Transition

Over 80% of PhDs we surveyed said doing this one thing was critical to their career transition and job search success. We’ll share with you what it is, and how you can maximize your job search. 

How to Write Resumes

Although we strongly advise against applying for jobs at this stage of the career transition, knowing how to write a resume is important information for your job search. Learn strategies for writing a general resume that you can use at this stage of career transition. 

Conclusion: Evaluate Your Best Opportunities

Once you’ve collected information for a minimum of 3 career fields, it’s time to analyze your data and make an informed career decision. This lesson will provide you with criteria you can use to help decide what you’d like to try next. We’ll also discuss managing self-doubt, and strategies for telling your advisor that you’re choosing a professional career pathway. 

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Aurora’s unique curriculum is designed by learning specialists and experts in career development. Workbooks help students apply what they are learning to their own job search.

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Foundational Framework to Successful Career Transition

Students learn the step-by-step process of a successful job search. They will recognize their worth in industry and learn how to confidently speak to employers in any career sector.

The clarity and confidence they’ll gain in their professional skills will serve them throughout their careers.

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