Career planning skills trainings/labour market preparation for PhDs/academics

One of the reasons why career planning skills trainings are being held is to encourage proactive career planning by equipping participants with the skills, resources and self-assessment information necessary to make informed career choices both inside and beyond academia. Organizing career planning skills trainings and labour market preparation trainings focus on professional career of PhDs and academics who are often uncertain in terms of decision-making for their next future career life. Therefore, the training possibilities for PhDs and academics can help, maintain and improve job skills, professional level of employees and prepare them for possible promotion.

By organising these events the HE institutions can benefit in terms of the overall job satisfaction level of their PhDs and academics.



Improved skills and knowledge Better communication and cooperation

Basic information
Categories Profesional & Academic Development Networking Institutional strategy
Mobility stages During mobility phase
Delivery schedule Continuous
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)
Types of contracts of researchers Full degree student Visiting scholar Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Exchange student
Career stages of researchers Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience
Lengths of stays of researchers 0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months
Practice setup

Organization of career planing skills trainings and preparation for labour market can be done in several ways depending on a size of institution. Many institutions have specialist advisers and coaches who are dedicated to support PhDs and academics. Some of them does not have career coaching centre and experts, therefore, they provide/ organize the trainings with external experts.

WHEN SETTING UP TRAININGS (does not matter if it is organised internally or externally) think about the following tasks and situation at your institution:

  • Agenda of the trainings – meaning,purpose, content, target group

  • Choice of main speaker - advisor 

  • Information flow – sharing the information among PhDs and academics

  • Providing a space and time where they can freely talk

  • Providing a contact for the main speaker – for possible individual counselling


  • transferrable skills workshops - what is the aim of your workshops? think about the most discussed issues 

  • welcome days for PhDs - providing this event in order to help new doctoral candidates to orientate themselves at the university

  • well-being in academia - apart from career coaching do you organise workshops which provide tools to increase their resilience to stress, anxiety and burnout, and to enhance their overall well-being?

  • feedback form - do you provide an option to receive feedback from academics on the workshops offered as well as their suggestions for further trainings? 


  • when organising the trainings and preparations for labour market - with who do you collaborate with? Identify the relevant partners.

Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • Career development centre
Partners involved in practice setup
  • EURAXESS centre
  • Career advisor
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • Number of trainings implemented annually

Practice delivery


When organising trainings aimed at career coaching, please, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Try to estimate your target group. The needs and skills of researchers differ from early researchers and PhD students to advanced researchers. Therefore, it can be useful to create a registration form before organizing the event and ask about the most important questions ( reseearchers´current status, nationality, research field etc.)

  2. Identify clearly the content of prepared training – what is the main goal, what type of training will be delivered to participants? In case the training is interactive, please inform the participants in advance

  3. Attract the potential participants – if there is a special guest at the traning, please mention this information. Many researchers will certainly welcome experts from the real life.

  4. Promote and disseminate your event – think about the delivery possibility of your prepared event. If your organisation is active through social media, please, post the information about this event. Anyway, personell contact is irreplaceable. If you have any database of deans or rectors at the institutions in your country, please, send them email with the request to disseminate the information about the career training event to their students and researchers.

  5. Promotion of your events. If you design interesting leaflet with the basic information, it has a high potential to attract the researchers to take part in this.


  • In order to better the quality of career planning skills of PhDs and academics you may set up this into a course for credits. The course will be intended to encourage career planning by equipping participants with the skills, resources, and self-assessment information neccessary to make informed career choices both inside and beyond academia, inspiration available at:


  • Organization of welcome days 

    • the set of events for incoming PhDs

    • the aim of the "Welcome Days for PhDs" is to help new doctoral candidates to orientate themselves

    • consider this possibility at your institution

    • good example can be found:

  • Career coaching program   

    • try to contact successful alumni and friends of your University who share the secrets of their success and provide professional development coaching. Past participants who have started and built careers at places like EY, Facebook, Google, Nike, Sony Music Entertainment, PricewaterhouseCoopers can be a great inspiration for academics!

    • kick off weekend - when creating career coaching activities think about the possibility of arranging set of trainings aimed at career coaching for academics

    • good example and detailed program of career coaching can be found:

  • PhD career coaching planning guide

  • Career planning for PhDs ebook

Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • Career development centre
  • Centre of continuous/adult education
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • EURAXESS centre
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Training plan and programme designed
  • Average satisfaction rate

Examples of practice

Training in career planning for PhD students

To secure rewarding roles and succeed in them, inside academia or beyond, PhD students must know their options and plan their preferred destinations early. Career Control for Researchers takes them step-by-step through creating a practical plan that aligns them with professional strengths and personal motivators and preferences. This eight-week online and on-demand programme combines 4 core training modules, including exercises, with three 45-minute webinars and 2 tutorials, all designed to support them in creating a detailed career action plan. This good practice has been cofounded by Lund University in Sweeden.