Information Session:

Preparing Master's Students to Build Meaningful Careers

Preparing Master's Students to Build meaningful careers

(And why master's students have unique career needs)

Tuesday, March 8th 2022
12pm ET / 9am PT


In this webinar, Dr. L. Maren Wood, PhD, will share research about the professional development needs of master’s students, and insights into why master’s students face unique challenges in their job search.


Our research shows doctoral and master’s students approach their education and job search with different goals and objectives. As such, the challenges facing master’s students are unique and require different resources and support.


Through our work with 35+ institutions providing professional development to over 20,000 graduate students annually, we see first-hand the concerns of master’s students. Their comments gesture towards the gap in their professional development needs: 

“I wish there were more targeted career resources for master’s students, like there are for PhDs and undergrads.”


“A Master’s in my field makes me overqualified for entry-level jobs and under-qualified for jobs in academia. It sucks.”


“All the resources are funneled into helping PhD students.”

Master’s students are career-focused, seeking out additional education and training to help them build their chosen careers. Yet, 50% of master’s students lack foundational knowledge about job searching, and 56% feel uncertain about their futures.


Based on our research, our team has developed a five-step framework and curriculum to help master’s students successfully job search so they can leverage their education and training to build meaningful careers.


Our new platform, Beyond Graduate School, makes this curriculum available to institutions and enables career centers and graduate schools the ability to scale career and professional development to meet the unique professional development needs of master’s students.


Register to learn more about our research on master’s students career needs and our latest training platform, Beyond Graduate School.


Our research shows that students acquire knowledge about careers and job searching through a variety of sources and in a nonlinear process. As a result, they often miss foundational concepts and struggle to apply knowledge to their job search in a logical way. Knowledge gaps lead to haphazard job searching, which leads to frustration and failure.


Doctoral and master’s students approach their education and job search with different goals and objectives. As such, the challenges facing doctoral and master’s students are unique and require different resources and support.


We apply this research to the development of training platforms and curriculum that allow students to explore careers and prepare for a job search with purpose and strategy. Our structured curriculum minimizes a student’s sense of overwhelm and maximizes job search success.


With 3114 students (undergraduate and graduate) for every 1 professional development staff member, under-resourced career offices may overlook the specific needs of graduate students due to budget constraints. Universities require digital, scalable, solutions to help prepare a growing and diverse graduate student population for career success and to provide equal access to career services across departments, divisions, and schools.


By partnering with the Center, universities are able to provide high-quality, structured, educational tool to support the unique needs of master’s and doctoral students. Designed to complement existing on-campus resources, the Center’s curriculum allows institutions to maximize career center staff time and accommodate the busy-lives of graduate students.


Our journey started in 2014 when our founder, Dr. L. Maren Wood, hosted the very first online career conference for graduate students and PhDs. From 2014 to 2017, she conducted research on career pathways for the Chronicle of Higher Education and the American Historical Association. Graduate students began reaching out to Dr. Wood asking for career advice on how they, too, could make the leap from academia to industry. 

Under the brand Beyond the Professoriate, Dr. Wood and her team of PhD researchers and educators began building programming and resources to support PhDs who were in career crisis. In 2019, BtP launched an e-learning platform to partner with universities to help programs prepare doctoral students for job searching in and beyond the professoriate. 

Not only were doctoral students using our e-learning platform, so too were master’s students. But what we learned through surveys and interviews was that master’s students had different obstacles and challenges from doctoral students. One curriculum and one platform was insufficient to meet the needs of both groups of students. 

In 2021, the Center conducted research into the needs of master’s students and began designing curriculum. Launching in 2022, Beyond Graduate School will be the only online career platform dedicated to the needs of master’s students, allowing institutions to better support, mentor, and advise students on how to leverage their education in today’s fast-paced and changing economy.