Skip to content


A student receiving Careers support

Whether you're interested in working in academia or other sectors, Careers can provide advice, information and guidance, to help you explore your options.


Harewood Way (map)
Tel: +44 1904 32 2685
Opening hours

The Research Excellence Training Team (RETT) can help you gain transferable skills through information resources, a training and development programme, and support with career planning. 

Careers Gateway

  • Search hundreds of graduate vacancies
  • Find part-time work, internships and volunteering opportunities
  • Sign up for jobs updates
  • Book careers appointments

Sign in to the Careers Gateway

Academic research careers

An academic career can be challenging and rewarding. Academia is a popular choice among research students, and as such can be very competitive. If you're hoping to start a career as an academic you should make time during your studies to gain ​teaching experience. Raise your profile by making submissions to reputable journals, participating in conferences, and establishing a presence on social media.

Pros and cons of an academic career

When considering a career in academia it is important you weigh up the pros and cons.


  • relative independence and autonomy
  • a stimulating work environment
  • opportunities to attend international conferences
  • opportunities to publish your research
  • professional and personal development


  • isolating (especially if there are no other post docs in your department)
  • insecure, with short term contracts and no guarantee of a permanent post
  • demanding, in terms of workload and deadlines
  • less well paid than comparable professional careers
  • competitive

Academic vacancies

Careers outside academia

As a research graduate, the skills you develop during your studies are highly valued in a wide variety of industries. Even if your work isn't classified as research, you'll find your research techniques will come in useful.

Non-academic vacancies

Useful resources

We recommend setting up a LinkedIn account so you can begin to build your professional profile and get noticed by employers.

Other jobs in higher education

Competition for research and lecturing posts is strong. There are, however, a range of non-academic roles in higher education. See the working in higher education section on the Vitae website for more information.

Researcher Development Framework planner

Identify skills you want to develop and find relevant training.

RDF in SkillsForge

International students

The Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme allows you to work in the UK for 12 months following your PhD. You must apply after your viva and before you submit your final bound thesis. You cannot apply once your course has been completed. You must have a current Tier 4 visa.

Working in the UK after your studies