Once you've browsed this website, watched the videos and read the supporting resources for an overview of academic careers, here are some of the other things you can do to start heading towards an academic career.

Find out what academics do, and how they got into their jobs

Most importantly, talk to several academics in your discipline to get a feel for academia in your chosen field. There are often significant differences between subjects, even within the same broad discipline. Getting into academia has also changed radically since some of your professors started their careers. Make sure you get a realistic insight from early career academics (and those still on their way to becoming academics).

Try to get research experience while you are still an undergraduate

Talk to academics to see if you can help them with some research over the vacations. For some disciplines, you may be able to apply for funding from professional bodies to cover expenses. Your lecturers or Careers Service may be able to help with further information on funding.

The University of Manchester Careers Service has publications on undergraduate work experience, including vacation studentships and research awards for:

Investigate postgraduate study

The University of Manchester Careers Service website has a section on Further Study and Funding. Talk to your lecturers to find out about postgraduate study within your School, or talk to a careers adviser to discuss postgraduate study at other institutions.

See also:

Time outside academia

If you are currently working outside academia and considering starting an academic career using your professional experience, take a look at:

If you are thinking about taking a break from academia, either now or in the future, read:

Seek honest feedback and advice on your career plans

Talk to a personal tutor or project/dissertation supervisor to get a realistic assessment of your plans. They may be able to make valuable suggestions to make you more competitive.