Career planning

Plan your career

MIT Career Advising & Professional Development (CAPD) understands the unique and particular career needs of graduate students and has specific staff and resources dedicated to serving PhD and Master’s students pursuing both academic and industry career paths. Visit the CAPD website to schedule one-on-one advising and access PhD and Master’s student-specific online resources to guide you as you explore career options, prepare your job search materials, and apply to positions of interest.

Sign up for the CAPD Graduate Career News list to receive news, events, and other updates relevant to PhD and Master’s students.

Learn more about specific resources from MIT and beyond below:

Individual Development Plans

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are tools widely used in many contexts, from education to industry and beyond, which help high-achievers create a flexible, evolving goal-setting and career design strategy for their development as researchers, scholars, and professionals. Because of the length and rigor of PhD programs, IDPs are particularly useful for PhD students.

For researchers in STEM disciplines, CAPD recommends the MyIDP: Career Planning for PhDs in Science tool.

For humanists and social scientists, CAPD recommends ImaginePhD, which is an interactive, web-based tool to help graduate students and postdocs set and achieve long-term and short-term career goals. Developed primarily by career professionals who work with PhDs and postdocs, ImaginePhD includes an assessment, which informs its suggestions for tailored career directions you may want to explore based on your results, and offers information about those career paths. Imagine PhD’s planning tool provides you with a clear visualization of your progress as you explore your options and track achievements.

You are encouraged to bring in your IDP to career advising sessions in Career Services, to discuss your planning with an advisor.

Job & career development opportunities

Want to be connected to job and career development opportunities posted by employers who are specifically seeking MIT graduate-level talent? Use Handshake to find jobs and internships, employer events, and career workshops and resources. Update your profile and receive updates based on your specific career and professional development interests. You can also use Handshake to schedule advising appointments with the Career Advising & Professional Development team.

MIT Graduate Assistance & Information Network (GAIN)

MIT Graduate Assistance & Information Network (GAIN) is available 24/7, providing confidential support for personalized services and referrals on work and career topics, including career exploration, continuing education, interest testing, job search strategies, resume review, time management, and work-life integration. Call 844-MIT-GAIN (844-648-4246).


CAPD also offers micro-internships (formerly externships) for MIT undergraduate and graduate students.


Through the MIT Alumni Association’s Infinite Connection, graduate students can access job openings posted by alumni, browse the online alumni directory, participate in professional networking, and even find mentors  through the MIT Alumni Advisors Hub.

Student leadership / advocacy

The Academics, Research, and Careers (ARC) Committee of the Graduate Student Council pursues academic and career-related advocacy issues.

Path of Professorship

The Path of Professorship, a 1.5-day workshop for graduate and postdoctoral womxn, is an opportunity to learn more about pursuing an academic career, with a focus on the sciences.