Skip to content Skip to navigation

Preparing for Faculty Careers

Faculty Panel Members

Faculty panel explains hiring at different institutions.

Preparing for a faculty career means understanding yourself and the higher education landscape, building faculty skills, and successfully conducting a job search. It's never too early — or too late — to begin.

If you are considering a faculty career, tap into the knowledge and experience of the faculty, staff, and advanced students in your department or program. Take advantage of Stanford's extensive resources to explore your options, build your skills, and prepare your application materials.

Phase 1: Exploring Faculty Roles

What do faculty members do? How do faculty roles differ at different types of colleges and universities? What type of faculty jobs should I consider? Which types of institutions should I explore? These questions will help you focus on building necessary skills and apply strategically for the jobs you want to pursue.

Phase 2: Building Faculty Skills

Faculty work involves research and scholarship; teaching, advising, and mentoring; and service to your institution and professional colleagues. You can build skills in each of these areas while at Stanford. In fact, much of what you do in graduate school will help prepare you for your future faculty career.

Phase 3: Getting a Faculty Job

The faculty job search can take an entire year or more. Depending on the discipline and the type of institution, it is typically conducted in the last year of graduate school or toward the end of a postdoctoral fellowship. Preparing for the job search and putting together all of the materials takes time. Start early!